JJ Watt’s Reinjured Back Could Have Him Out For The Season

After re-injuring his back which he had surgery on in mid-July, J.J. Watt may not play for the Texans for the rest of the season

The Houston Texans and their fans may have seen the last of J.J. Watt playing on the field for the rest of the season due to re-injuring his back.

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year reinjured his back and is speculated to be out for an extended period of time. It could possibly mean the rest of the season, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Watt doesn’t have long history of back problems, but the 6-5, 290-pounder dealt with the issue last season while still managing to lead the NFL with 17 1/2 sacks, 29 tackles for losses and 50 quarterback hits.

Dr. Neel Anand, the director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles and a clinical professor of surgery performed the surgery.

Dr Neel Anand had a positive outlook for the Texans:

“In most cases, Mr. Watt’s included, patients are expected to make a complete recovery after surgery and typically resume their normal activities within a few weeks,” said Anand, who was not involved in the treatment for Watt. “Best of all, patients are pain free and many people report feeling better than they have in years after surgery.

“As for him being susceptible to additional back problems, since I do not know exactly what afflicts him, if he has a first disc herniation then he has a 10 to 15 percent chance that over the next five to 10 years he may have further degeneration and need a another procedure.”

Watt played through the herniated disc last season along with a broken hand and several torn groin muscles that required postseason surgery. The surgery for the back was performed around July 15th over the summer.

The Texans are expected to address the severity of J.J. Watts injury on Wednesday and will likely put him on the injured reserve list for the rest of the season in hopes that he might come back to play later in the season.

Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had undergone surgery to repair a herniated disc during the off-season, a procedure which the team thought would force him to miss the start of the regular season. Having undergone two spinal surgeries personally, I know that it takes a full two years to fully recover from any spinal surgery due to how invasive the procedure is.

The star defensive end underwent a major spinal surgery to repair five torn muscles in his core area in March. remove the herniation which was putting pressure on his sciatic nerve. Spinal disc herniation’s have ended many careers, like Prince Fielder’s for example. They are nothing to take lightly since it’s so easy to suffer further injuries if not enough rest and precaution is taken.

“A spinal disc is the soft cushion of tissue that separates each vertebra in the spine,” Anand said. “The disc itself consists of a tough outer layer and a gel-like inner layer. Its predominant function is load-bearing and serves as a shock absorber between each spinal vertebra. There are a variety of reasons a spinal disc may become damaged. From a traumatic injury like a car accident to a collision on the field or from lifting heavy weights, to chronic conditions like degenerative disc disease, when a spinal disc is damaged the result can range from no symptoms at all to severe, debilitating back pain.

J.J. Watt has not missed a single regular season game in his Pro Bowl career. He didn’t practice on Monday. Despite missing the entire pre-season while recovering from the surgery, he did play in each of the Texans’ first three games but his performance hasn’t been the dominating force which we have all become accustomed to.

In the three games Watt has played this season, he has eight tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.

The star defensive end has not missed a game in his Pro Bowl career. Watt, who didn’t practice Monday, had major surgery to repair five torn muscles in his core area in March.

The Texans reportedly will re-sign defensive end Antonio Smith to ease the loss of Watt.