Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has had an ACL surgery for each knee, but he won’t allow fear to stop him from playing his game.
“Injuries are going to happen,” Watson said Tuesday via Dave Johnson of the Daily Press.
Part of why Watson is not tentative about the injury is because he dealt with it as a freshman at Clemson, and it didn’t stop him from playing at a level that led the Tigers to a College Football Playoff National Championship bout with the Alabama Crimson Tide the following year in 2015.
“There’s no point in switching up the routine,” said Watson. “I’ll stay prepared and stay fit throughout the year, not just in the off-season but throughout the season. I do what I do. I don’t want to change anything that got me here.”
Watson burst onto the scene last season with a 3-3 record, 18 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a 103.0 passer rating through seven games played. An ACL tear in practice on Nov. 2 ended his season and effectively condemned the Texans, who were 3-4 at the time of his injury, to a 4-12 finish. The answer at quarterback was also one of 24 Texans players to end up on injured reserve.
Even though there was a small sample size, NFL defensive coordinators still have enough material to attempt to curtail Watson’s talent in his second season. The 22-year-old knows he will get better with the more he plays.
Said Watson: “Each week, I was learning something new, experiencing something new. That’s the great thing about the NFL, really, at any age. Each week, you try to learn and experience something new.”
The challenge begins Week 1 with a road game against the New England Patriots and is followed up with another road game against the Tennessee Titans, helmed by former Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.
“Experience is the best teacher, and the more I experience, the more things I’m going to learn,” Watson said. “I’m not going to have everything at once. Each week will be put me through different challenges.”
Watson was in Williamsburg, Va. at the Colonial All-Pro Football Camp at William and Mary.