Watt also appeared to confirm reports that he had torn a pectoral muscle. Sharing video of himself making a second-quarter tackle for a loss against Oakland, with a caption reading, “Look out for No. 99,” Watt tweeted, “Shoulda told my pec to look out lol.”
Watt, 30, is set to have a season cut short by injury for the third time in four years.
In 2016, he had surgery for a herniated disc over the summer, and then played just three games before requiring another procedure on his back. Watt was limited to just five games the following year after suffering a broken leg.
Able to play all 16 games in 2018, the veteran defensive end reasserted himself as a dominant force. Watt finished with 16 sacks, a league-leading seven forced fumbles and earned first-team all-pro recognition for the fifth time in eight seasons to that point.
“It’s tough,” Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said Sunday of Watt’s injury (via ESPN). “That’s a big part of this team.
“But he knows that this locker room, this organization, this town, this city, the Houston nation is definitely going to support him through his recovery. We always love him. He’s going to be right there with us.”
After tackling Raiders running back Josh Jacobs for a six-yard loss in the second quarter, Watt left the field and entered the medical tent on the Texans’ sideline. He then jogged to the locker room and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of what would become a 27-24 Houston win.
The victory improved the Texans’ record to 5-3, but the loss of Watt could prove costly to a team that traded away another star defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, shortly before the season began. With four sacks going into the game, Watt was second on the team to linebacker Whitney Mercilus (5.5), and Watt was well ahead of any of his teammates with 20 quarterback hits (per Pro Football Reference).
“When we have situations where it might seem like we’re down and people are counting us out,” said Mercilus (via ESPN), “all we do is put our heads down and keep trucking down and make plays.”
“I truly love this game and can’t stand letting you guys down,” Watt said on Twitter. “Thank you for all of the thoughts & well-wishes.”