J.J. Watt injury: Texans DE played entire 2012 season with torn elbow ligaments

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans defensive end suffered a left arm injury that persisted throughout the season but didn't prevent him from being the NFL's sack leader.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is coming off a breakthrough season in which he recorded 20.5 sacks, and he says that despite his accomplishments in 2012, he wasn't completely healthy. Watt dislocated his left elbow in early August of last year, which resulted in torn ligaments in the arm.

Watt was able to play through that setback with the help of a brace and had to rebuild his confidence week by week. He said the injury "didn't hinder [him] too much" during the season and added that he's also looking forward to playing in 2013 without a lingering injury.

Despite the nagging arm issue, Watt led the NFL in sacks and finished the year with 16 passes defensed, which is an NFL record for defensive linemen. Watt has a total of 26 sacks in two seasons with the Texans.

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