BY KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON (AP) — A person familiar with J.J. Watt’s condition said the Houston Texans’ star defensive lineman had back surgery Thursday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday night on condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t announced the surgery.
Watt was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a back injury.
It’s his second back surgery in two months after he missed training camp and Houston’s four preseason games after surgery in July to repair a herniated disk. He started each of the team’s three regular-season games and was hurt again last Thursday night against the New England Patriots.
Watt, who has won Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons, will miss a game for the first time in his career Sunday after starting 83 straight games since he was drafted in the first round in 2011.
Watt has played through various injuries in the past, including torn core muscles and a broken hand last season.
This was a tough offseason for Watt, who had surgery in January to repair five torn core muscles before going under the knife again in July to repair his back.
Watt, who led the NFL with 17 1/2 sacks last season, has 1 1/2 sacks this season to give him 76 for his career.
The 27-year-old is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler. He’s been a force since entering the league not only because of his pass-rushing prowess, but also because of his uncanny ability to swat down passes. He has 45 passes defended in his six-year career. He has forced 15 fumbles and recovered 13.
The news was first reported by ESPN.
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