J.J. Watt set to play in preseason opener

AP

The Texans will kick off their preseason schedule by facing the Panthers in Charlotte on Wednesday and it looks like that will mark the end of defensive end J.J. Watt‘s long absence from game action.

Watt has not played in a game since having back surgery after the third week of the 2016 season, but coach Bill O’Brien said “yeah” when asked if the plan for Wednesday includes putting Watt on the field.

“Everybody that’s able to play in the game will play in the game,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Obviously, we’ll talk about it as a staff, how much everybody plays. You have injuries, so, 80-plus guys you have to get into the game [and] you need to evaluate.”

One would imagine that Watt won’t be playing an extensive amount on Wednesday as the most significant evaluation that the Texans have to make is that he’s able to play rather than how they’d use him on defense.