J.J. Watt injury could be season-ending

HOUSTON — A source familiar with the condition of former Badger and current Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt says the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year could be out until December or longer after re-injuring his back last Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

The news was first reported by Ian Rapoport, but the source spoke on condition of anonymity because the Texans haven’t officially announced the injury.

Watt had surgery in July to repair a herniated disc which caused him to miss all of training camp and all four games of the preseason. It’s unclear at this time if surgery is required, but the 27-year-old has yet to miss an NFL game in his six-year career. Watt was held out of practice on Monday, but head coach Bill O’Brien said it was simply for rest purposes.

It’s not the first major injury of Watt’s career, having torn abdominal muscles last season in the playoffs, one that had him contemplating retirement. He’s out to a slow start in 2016, with just 1.0 tackle and 1 ½ sacks.