Return of the stars, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus
Last season, Houston Texans’ defensive stars J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were injured with season-ending ailments. Watt, star defensive lineman and future Hall of Famer, suffered from back-to-back season-ending injuries. Watt was injured early in both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 season. His injury shocked the sports realm and convinced many that he would not be able to play football at a high level again.
However, Watt has proven doubters wrong. Watt has come back with 10 total sacks and four forced fumbles. In addition, Watt has 36 combined tackles with 10 tackles of loss. Watt is officially back and he is in strong contention to win both Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Watt has greatly improved the run defense, adding on to an already great front defensive line.
In addition to the return of Watt, Mercilus has also returned from his season-ending injury last year. An unheralded player in a star-studded Texans defense, Mercilus has quietly made a major impact. He has forced two fumbles this season while starting six games. In addition, Mercilus has combined for 23 tackles with three tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits.
Although Mercilus’ stat line is not as impressive as others, he has slowly been getting back to form. In the past three games, Mercilus has tacked on seven tackles and two forced fumbles. Mercilus is slowly easing back into the lineup and is ready to make a big impact in the home stretch of the season.