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J.J. Watt could miss the start of the season

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Watt's back injury could be more serious than initially believed.

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Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Five years in the NFL and J.J. Watt still hasn't missed a game. That could change this year. It was reported Thursday night that Watt had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. It was initially reported that he'd be out 6-8 weeks, but likely to return in time for Week 1.

The injury happened recently, and the team will put him on the PUP list to start training camp.

WATT COULD MISS TIME

Now, it could be more like 10 weeks, which would put him on the shelf for the first three games of the season. The Texans have a Thursday night game against the Patriots in Week 3, so no feasting on Jimmy Garoppolo while Tom Brady is out for his suspension.

RECOVERY & COMPLICATIONS

The real question isn't when Watt will return, but when he'll return to full strength. Back injuries aren't uncommon for NFL players. However, they're the kind of nagging injury that has lingering effects, making it harder for a player to snap back into form quickly. Watt's fellow pass rusher from the 2011 draft, Robert Quinn, had back surgery last June and ended up missing half the season before being put on IR.

Maybe some more massages will help.

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