Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been around the team since suffering a season-ending tibial plateau fracture in Week Five against the Chiefs, but he’s always been on crutches when spotted on the sideline.
Watt’s rehab has progressed to a point where he’s able to discard them to work out, however. Watt posted a video in a Instagram story of his first workout on a treadmill that he captioned with “Big Day!!!” and “#FirstSteps.”
There’s a lot of other steps for Watt to take before he’ll be in position to return to the team, but none of them are possible without taking that first one.
Watt has played just eight games over the last two seasons — a back injury wiped out most of 2016 — to interrupt a career that saw him win three defensive player of the year awards in his first five NFL campaigns. Getting back to that level may not happen, but the Texans will still look forward to seeing what their defense will look like with Watt and Whitney Mercilus back to health alongside Jadeveon Clowney.