Sunday’s game against the Jaguars was circled on Texans defensive end J.J. Watt‘s calendar for a long time because it represented his first chance to play a meaningful game since being shut down with a back injury early last season.
After Hurricane Harvey battered the city of Houston, it’s going to be a big moment for a lot more people when the Texans take the field on Sunday. That point was underscored at the start of Watt’s Wednesday press conference when he received a check for $5 million from the H-E-B grocery chain for the relief effort he started when the storm hit the city.
The total money raised by that effort is now above $27 million and Watt said on Wednesday that he’s been able to balance his work on that front with his preparations for the game. For this week, though, the two things are intertwined.
“It’s going to be special,” Watt said. “This is so much bigger than a game, but for three hours on Sunday we want to take people’s minds off of everything that just happened. We want to give them an escape from everything that just happened. I know for a fact that our guys are going to give every single thing that we have to make sure we put a smile on this city’s face.”
Watt was asked about people calling him a hero and said he’s just a coordinator of people trying to help the city and the surrounding areas recover. Watt called it “the least I can do” given the support the city has given him since he joined the Texans. It’s a safe bet that support has never been louder or stronger than it will be at NRG Stadium this weekend.