Deshaun Watson recovered from torn ACL in 2014

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Although a return to full and complete form after a torn ACL never is a given, it’s not the first time Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has faced the prospect of surgery, recovery, and length rehab resulting from a replacement of the primary ligament in his knee.

Nearly three years ago, Watson tore an ACL while at Clemson. And he actually played with the injury.

As explained by ESPN.com at the time, Watson played — and beat — South Carolina despite tearing an ACL in practice after spraining the knee in a game against Georgia Tech. Watson wore a brace while playing against South Carolina.

Of course, Watson won’t be doing that this time. But the incident from 2014 underscores the determination of Watson. At a time when many fear that a special career may be derailed or delayed just as it was getting started, the fact that Watson has successfully overcome this specific type of adversity in the past is encouraging.

This time around, it’s the other knee. And it’s safe to say based on what we’ve seen from Watson throughout his college and pro career that he’ll embrace the challenge and overcome it.

If/when he does, it will be great for the Texans and even better for the NFL, which desperately needs a to develop a group of true franchise quarterbacks on the right side of 35. Through only six starts, Watson already was commanding that status. By next season, expect Watson to pick up where he left off.