Written by Austin Knoblauch at NFL.com
One of the most memorable rookie seasons in memory has been cruelly cut short.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his right ACL in practice Thursday, sources informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Watson’s remarkable debut season is over.
An MRI on the knee confirmed the full extent of the injury, Rapoport reported. He suffered it on a non-contact play, Rapoport added. Watson, who tore his left ACL during his playing days at Clemson, is facing an 8-9 month rehabilitation and should be back in time for the start of the 2018 season.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien did not talk about any issues regarding Watson’s knee during his Thursday news conference. The team only listed Watson as limited after the practice session.
“I talked to Deshaun late this afternoon and we are disappointed,” said Dabo Swinney, who coached Watson during his days at Clemson. “But he is a person who has had some setbacks in his life and always comes back stronger. Since he went through the rehab [for a torn ACL] before, he knows what it takes.
“All he did after the injury in 2014 was come back and lead us to the National Championship game twice and, of course, we won it last year,” Swinney continued. “He started all 30 games the last two years here. I have no doubt he will come back from this. He has the resolve. His work ethic and drive are incredible.”
Watson was coming off the most impressive performance of his young career before suffering the injury. He passed for 402 yards and four touchdowns in the Texans’ 41-38 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in one of the most exciting games of the season.
The performance helped make him the first rookie quarterback to ever win AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors on Thursday. He also was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for October.
Watson passed for 1,699 yards over six games and is tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns with 19. It was the most passing touchdowns over the first seven career games since 1970, passing Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner’s mark. The Texans scored more than 33 points in each of his four October starts.
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