Texans DE J.J. Watt will have to wait until next season to make a serious run at an unprecedented fourth NFL Defensive Player of the Year award.
The league's dominant defensive force re-injured his back during Houston's Week 3 loss to the New England Patriots, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Texans will be re-signing veteran defensive end Antonio Smith for depth, a source informed of the one-year agreement has told NFL.com's Mike Garofolo.
Watt is expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time, per Rapoport, perhaps even for the rest of the season. The Texans will likely place him on injured reserve Wednesday, Rapoport added, via a source informed of their plans. The hope is that he can return for a late-season playoff run.
This is clearly a serious blow to the Houston defense and makes the unit a better matchup for all skill position players on opposing teams.