Sportress of Blogitude

J.J. Watt says last season was ‘most strenuous’ of entire career


J.J. Watt somehow managed to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award last season despite overcoming myriad injuries in a campaign he describes as the “most strenuous” of his entire pro football career. Perhaps most surprising, Watt admitted this week that he played with a herniated disk last season.

Watt chronicled the litany of injuries he suffered while nevertheless starting all 16 Houston Texans games last season during an appearance Wednesday on SportsRadio 610.

“Last year was definitely by far the most strenuous on my body that I’ve ever had, fighting through a whole bunch of things that I’ve never dealt with before,” Watt said Wednesday via CBS Houston, by way of Pro Football Talk. “We had the broken hand. I had a herniated disk in my back halfway through the year. I had, obviously, everything that went on with my groins and I don’t think people fully understand what that process was like and how long that had been dealt with.”

Despite not being fully healthy, Watt put up phenomenal numbers, amassing 76 combined tackles and a league-leading 17.5 sacks, not to mention eight passes defensed, an amazing number out of a defensive end.

But stats alone hardly illustrate how important Watt is to the Texans. He’s the heart and soul of the team’s defense and one of the unquestioned leaders of the locker room.

Watt, a noted offseason workout warrior, also stated he’s already heavily involved in his annual training regimen and looks to be raring to go come training camp.

“I’m doing pretty darn well,” Watt said. “I feel really good. I’m back to full-fledged training. Obviously, I’m working to get back to my 100 percent tip-top shape. I am back to my full workouts, I’m back to everything. So now it’s just building back to what I was and going above and beyond that, which I will be at by the first game of the season.”

Watt is only entering his sixth NFL season and has been a four-time First-Team All-Pro. He also already has won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times. If he won the last one while being so nicked up, it’s practically unfathomable what kind of havoc he’ll unleash  next season if he’s fully healthy.