HOUSTON, Texas (KTRE) - Around 9:15 am CT, the Houston Texans took to the field to usher in Training Camp in Texas.
The Texans were starting training camp in Houston for the first time since 2016. They did so with their leader JJ Watt. It was believed the veteran defensive end would not practice after he, and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were put on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list.
Watt surprised the Houston media when he came down the stairs from the sky bridge connecting the practice facility to NRG Stadium wearing his No.99 jersey and carrying his dark blue helmet.
Watt has battled several injuries over the past few seasons and with Jadeveon Clowney sitting out, the team and Watt is being precautions.
“We’re going to be smart throughout camp,” Watt said. “We’ll have scheduled off days and things like that but my body feels great. You get to get back to the group, knock any rust off. We get to get back in the game. There is no pads. it is not real football but we are getting close.”
Head Coach Bill O’Brien said Watt always makes things difficult for the offense at practice.
“He was in the backfield quite a bit,” O’Brien said. “So it was good to see him back there (but) from an offensive perspective, it’s always hard when he’s back in there because we’re trying to execute the play ... but he’s an awesome player.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Lufkin native Keke Coutee did not seem to show any signs of the nagging hamstring issues he had last season that kept him benched the majority of the season.
“The plan is to be out there all 16 games this season,” Coutee said. “That is my main goal this season, no other goal. Just to help my team. This off season we worked hard and are working harder now that the season is closer. We just want to keep building that bond.”
Starting quarterback Deshaun Watson worked a lot with Coutee and Will Fuller V, which is coming off of a torn ACL injury. Watson was pleased with the progress the presumed No.2 and No. 3 receivers are making.
“Last year, [Coutee] started off with a hamstring problem so we did not have too many reps,” Watson said. Now having a whole off season and being able to start training camp healthy and getting on the same page and seeing different looks will take us a long way."