Report: Texans DE J.J. Watt could return sooner than expected

J.J. Watt initially got a six- to eight-week recovery estimate after he underwent a July 20 procedure to repair a herniated disc. The last we heard from the Houston Texans was that there was some uncertainty whether their star defensive end would be ready for the start of the regular season and that Watt could miss Houston’s first two games.

Though there is still no clarity on the matter, Watt himself had a message for his fans Wednesday.

And a report from’s Ian Rapoport says that Watt is expected to return to practice next week.

Watt, 27, led the league with 17.5 sacks last season, so the mere possibility that he may be ready in time for a Week 1 matchup against the Bears is obviously exciting for Texans fans.