The Houston Texans have won four games in a row, with the last three coming on gutsy performances from their budding star quarterback.
It turns out, Deshaun Watson had to do more than a little extra to play in Houston's Week 7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the rest of the team traveled to Florida via chartered flight, Watson kept it on the ground reportedly in order to avoid potential issues with swelling caused by flying. The story was first reported by FOX's Jay Glazer.
Yes, that's right: Watson took the John Madden approach and traveled to Jacksonville by bus.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien was expectedly limited on the topic afterward, declining to elaborate on Watson's wheeled journey, but admitting the quarterback is "playing hurt." Watson was a full participant throughout the past week with a chest injury.
So how was the Watson Cruiser trip, Deshaun?
According to this writer's quick Google Maps search, a car (or bus) trip from Houston's NRG Stadium to Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field, via Interstate 10, is a 12-hour, 28-minute endeavor (not including stops for food, gas and bathroom breaks) that covers 878 miles. That's a lot of time for film and naps.
Despite playing injured, Watson was still good enough for the Texans. He wasn't scintillating, but he was effective, completing 12 of 24 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed seven times for 13 yards, though his threat to run wasn't quite as great as usual, seeing as Houston had to work around his temporary fragility.
Lamar Miller helped Watson's cause, rushing 22 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. Houston's defense also did an excellent job of bottling up Jacksonville's offense, lessening the load on Watson, who operated within himself and the potential of his receivers. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller had nice days of their own, too.