Three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt underwent surgery to repair his herniated disc on Wednesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation.
Watt will open camp on the physically unable to perform list, per Rapoport, but the team is hoping he will be ready for the start of the regular season. Rapoport added that a recovery time of eight weeks is the best-case scenario, and since the surgery happened so recently, it puts Watt right up against the opening weekend kickoff.
NFL Media's Mike Garafolo, however, expressed a slightly more pessimistic timeline. Per a source informed of Watt's prognosis, Garafolo reported that the recovery could take up to 10 weeks, which means the defensive star would miss regular-season games.
The Houston Chronicle was the first to report the news.
Although Watt has yet to miss a game in his five-year career, he's now racing against the clock to get his body in football shape for the season opener. After playing through a broken hand and severe groin injury last year, he underwent sports hernia surgery earlier this offseason.
For that dream scenario to have a chance of playing out, they will need the game's most dominant defensive force at full strength.