Report: “Real optimism” J.J. Watt could return for playoffs

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Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wrote on Twitter that he was “absolutely gutted that I won’t be able to finish the season” on the field because of a torn pectoral muscle, but it appears that they’re holding out hope in Houston that Watt could be back before the team stops playing this season.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that there is “real optimism” that the Texans could get Watt back for any playoff games they might play this season. Watt is set to have an MRI in a few weeks that will likely determine if there’s something more than hopefulness behind his possible return.

Watt went on injured reserve after eight games, so he’d have to miss eight on injured reserve before being eligible to return for game action but could resume practicing in the final weeks of the year.

The Texans have brought back one player from injured reserve this season and there’s no other clear candidate to return to the team before the end of the regular season.