Texans sign Antonio Smith, place J.J. Watt on injured list

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Texans sign Antonio Smith, place J.J. Watt on injured list

Watt will have to wait until next season to make a serious run at an unprecedented fourth NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

"I haven't missed a game since my sophomore year of high school", Watt said. He has been healthy this season, which has allowed the Texans' coaches to move him around the field, including to defensive end.

There are so many questions around the Texans without Watt.

The Houston Texans' star defensive lineman had surgery in July for a herniated disc, and surprisingly recovered in time to return to play this month.

It has to be incredibly hard to err on the side of caution when it comes to a generational player who seems like a real-life Terminator to those of us on the outside, looking in.

The three-time victor of the NFL's defensive player of the year award, Watt has never missed a game in his National Football League career, but will miss his first game on Sunday.

It means that Watt won't be able to practice for at least six weeks and can't play in a game for eight weeks. That's hardly unusual for players returning from similar procedures. Houston is still at the top of a crummy AFC South division at 2-1, and could very much end up making the playoffs as the AFC South representative.

He has 1.5 sacks, good for fourth on the team, and has 5 quarterback hits, second only to linebacker John Simon.

NFL.com first reported the news.

Injured quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were both in uniform as New England returned to practice, but the Patriots still aren't saying which will start Sunday against Buffalo.

The greater concern, however, is for the long-term outlook of a once-in-a-generation talent. The sixth-year veteran was on pace for his worst season, statistically speaking, since his rookie campaign in 2011.

MORE BASKETBALL: Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks is the WNBA Most Valuable Player, receiving 31 of the 39 first-place votes from a national media panel.

Will he regain that same game-wrecking, pre-injury form the next time he stalks the gridiron?

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