When J.J. Watt went down with a knee injury, the entire stadium deflated.
He returned just like he left — suddenly, and seemingly without warning. There J.J. Watt is standing on the Houston Texans sidelines, decked out in a zip-up dark blue Texans sweatshirt, clapping for his defense. For the first time since an injury ended his season, Watt is back for a game at NRG Stadium in full public view.
Yes, he’s alive — and still imposing.
You really cannot blame the CBS cameras for seeming to continually keep going to Watt on the sidelines. With the Jaguars and the Texans playing on the field, Watt’s clearly the biggest star in the building. Arguably the only star (though, Jadeveon Clowney does seem intent on changing that). Watt’s managed to turn himself into something of a mystery, too.
With the exception of cryptic reveal that he’s officially dating Houston Dash women’s soccer star Kealia Ohai, Watt has been strangely low profile. He’s retreated into injury rehab mode — and largely stayed away from the team until he came back to the training facility in late November. It’s almost like Watt was asked (or he decided) to stay largely unseen and let the Texans thrive or stumble without his looming presence.
Still, Clowney certainly seems to like having him around.
The ultra-hyped No. 1 overall draft pick — essentially everything J.J. Watt was not coming out of Wisconsin — picked up two sacks in the first quarter alone. Look at this!, Clowney’s play screamed. He will now live in Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles’ nightmares now just like Watt has for several years.
Clowney can go near Lawrence Taylor dominate for a game, but he’ll be hard pressed to ever equally Watt in buzz.
No. 99’s mere presence on the sidelines (even in street clothes) triggered a mad rush of adoring tweets. People at NRG almost spent more time attempting to get a good glimpse at the famous guy in the sweatshirt then they did watching Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler’s latest horrific interceptions.
Come to think of it, that’s the smart pick in viewing choices. With Osweiler throwing two picks in the first 20 minutes of game action, the Jaguars would be gifted a 13-0 lead.
But hey, look at Watt!
Soon, Texans coach Bill O’Brien would finally give Texans’ fans something even almost more long-awaited than a Watt return. He’d finally bench Osweiler and give Tom Savage a chance. See — things just turn out better when J.J. Watt is in the building.