NFL fans of any team should be hoping for Deshaun Watson to return to the exact form he showed the last time we saw him. But it’s especially important for Houston Texans fans, who finally have their franchise quarterback.
The last time Watson played, he lit up the scoreboard in an epic battle with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. He was the story of the NFL for a brief time, in the middle of an already historic rookie season. Then Watson tore his ACL in a freak injury in practice the following week.
Even with many players returning quickly and seamlessly from ACL surgery, there’s never any guarantee a player will be the same after that injury. But Watson seems to be coming along well, and he looked pretty good throwing at the Texans’ OTA practices on Tuesday.
Watson looks good in workouts
Deepi Sidhu of the Texans’ official website and Bob Slovak of the ABC affiliate in Houston each tweeted brief videos of Watson throwing at practice. You’re only going to get so much out of a video of a quarterback throwing in an individual drill in late May, but it looked pretty good.
— Deepi Sidhu (@DeepSlant) May 22, 2018
— Bob Slovak (@BobSlovak13) May 22, 2018
Veteran Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain also had a positive review of Watson.
Deshaun Watson moving around effortlessly. He’s throwing in individual drills but not participating in team drills.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 22, 2018
Team will likely be careful with Watson
While there’s no indication Watson won’t be ready for the season opener, the Texans will make sure. Tossing the ball around in individual drills is great, but it’s not facing a live pass rush. There will be more hurdles for Watson before the regular season starts, and the Texans will presumably be patient and make sure he’s ready for each of them. He’s too valuable to the franchise to rush him back.
But so far, so good. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said earlier this month that Watson was progressing well. The short videos from OTAs are more good signs.
Watson looking to pick up where he left off
Watson had 19 touchdown passes in seven games last season. That’s the most through seven games for any rookie in NFL history. The Texans scored 39 points per game in his last five starts. Watson was a revelation before his injury. The Texans can only hope that whenever he returns to the starting lineup, he looks like the same quarterback we saw for that brief stretch.
We won’t know for a while when Watson is able to return to full-team drills, and it should be a while before he’s officially cleared for Week 1 of the regular season, but he seems to be making steady progress.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Brandi Chastain plaque looks nothing like her
• Olympian: USA Swimming covered up sex abuse
• Spurs abruptly disband female dance squad
• Dan Wetzel: NBA conference finals aren’t close, yet you can’t turn away