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J.J. Watt delivered practice speech that gave Texans teammates ‘chills’

The Houston Texans officially activated J.J. Watt from the injured reserve-designated to return list on Tuesday, and the superstar marked the occasion by delivering a fiery speech to his teammates during practice.

Watt has been sidelined since suffering a torn pectoral muscle in an Oct. 27 game against the Oakland Raiders. While the superstar defensive end is wearing a protective harness to help protect against re-injury, he will make his eagerly anticipated return to the field on Saturday for the Texans’ wild-card showdown with the Buffalo Bills.

To say Watt’s comeback from such a serious injury just in time for the playoffs is a welcome development for the Texans would be an understatement, and his practice-field speech certainly resonated with his teammates.

“I’m glad to have him back for sure,” Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil said, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “You should have heard that speech he said at practice. It kind of gave us chills. It was a good speech. It’s great to have a leader like J.J. Watt back. Let’s go.”

Cornerback Bradley Roby echoed Tunsil’s sentiments.

“I think activating J.J. is huge, mentally, spiritually, for sure,” Roby said. “He’s a big part of this city, on and off the field. He’s a leader for this team. I think his mere presence out there will affect the game in a great way.

“He’s a leader. You always want to do better with a guy like that on the field.”

It’s unclear how many snaps Watt will get in Saturday’s game after such a long layoff and having only returned to practice last week. Watt himself stated that while his legs feel good and some strength has returned to his upper body, he’s not sure he can handle a full-game workload.

That said, Watt was showcasing signs of his three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year pedigree before suffering the pectoral injury. In eight games, Watt had four sacks and one forced fumble. His 20 quarterback hits led the NFL at the time.