The Texans have had to adjust to life without J.J. Watt before.
But now that they’re faced with the reality of being without both the three-time defensive player of the year and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus for the year, the Texans are trying not to wallow in despair.
Both players need surgery to repair the injuries suffered last night against the Chiefs, and will be out for the season.
“The train doesn’t stop moving,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “That’s what makes the NFL what it is. Guys are going to have to step in. It’s going to be multiple guys. It’s going to be a lot of different guys.”
Of course, there aren’t enough guys to make up for Watt and Mercilus, but that’s not the kind of detail O’Brien can dwell on.
“Great players,” O’Brien said. “Obviously, I feel terrible for them individually. It’s tough to put in all the work they put in, pour their hearts and souls into the thing and have their seasons cut short because of an injury, it’s tough. It is what it is. It’s going to take an effort by a lot of different people to fill those roles. We will get better. They’re not canceling the season. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season. We feel like we’ve got a good football team. We’ve got to shore some things up. . . .
“At the end of the day, that’s why you try to put together as good a roster as you can,” O’Brien said. “It’s not going to be one guy. It will be multiple guys.”
Having Jadeveon Clowney will help cover for the absence of Watt, as happened last season when Watt missed 13 games following back problems. But the cumulative blow will still be something the Texans will likely struggle with, as they try to figure out where to go from here.