HOUSTON – Another Houston Texans star has been benched by an injury. Defensive end J.J. Watt left practice Thursday morning after dislocating his elbow.
Coach Gary Kubiak says Watt will miss the entire preseason, but he expects him to be ready when the regular season begins.
"We dodged another bullet," Kubiak said, adding that Watt has already started the rehab process on his elbow.
Trainers apparently popped the elbow back into place on the practice field.
Defensive end Antonio Smith said the entire team was shaken when Watt got hurt.
"I was just concerned that my brother had went down," Smith said. "Seeing him down like that, it kind of took the whole breath out of practice. Everybody was concerned about him, but the trainers took him in, and Kubs (Kubiak) said he’s going to be alright. So I’m going to roll with that."
Watt had 56 tackles and 5.5. sacks in his rookie season and was a key player in the dramatic turnaround by the Texans defense.
He’s the third starter to be injured in the last few days. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is recovering from a groin strain and left tackle Duane Brown hurt his ankle Wednesday.
"There’s been some scares with some key guys on our football team," Kubiak said. "Hopefully, we work through some of that and be fortunate. We’ve got a long way to go between now and the time we play. Right now, I don’t have any doubt that Andre’s going to be there on opening day and Duane Brown’s going to be there on opening day and J.J.’s going to be, in my mind, he’s going to be there on opening day. That’s what’s most important."