Texans lose QB Deshaun Watson to torn ACL: report
Injury suffered in practice; 12th overall pick just named rookie of the month
Two people familiar with the situation tell The Associated Press that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson sustained a season-ending knee injury in practice on Thursday.
The rookie suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees and will go on the injured reserve. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the injury.
The 12th overall pick in this year's draft was named AFC offensive player of the month after throwing for 1,171 yards with 16 touchdowns and running for 145 yards and another score.
The Texans will start Tom Savage, who was benched in the opener, on Sunday against the Colts.
Watson's development this season had been a revelation for a team that has featured a revolving door at quarterback over recent years. The Texans signed Brock Osweiler to a $72 million US contract before last season, but he was benched before the season was over and shipped to Cleveland in the offseason.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, talked about Watson's injury, and noted that he rebounded from the same injury when he was with the Tigers.
"I talked to Deshaun late this afternoon and we are disappointed," Swinney said. "But, he is a person who has had some setbacks in his life, and always comes back stronger. Since he went through the rehab before, he knows what it takes."
When Houston traded up 13 picks to take Watson, many assumed he'd be the starter to open the season. But Coach Bill O'Brien insisted he back up Tom Savage. Watson's time as a backup was short-lived as Savage struggled in the opener and was benched at halftime, making the former Clemson standout the ninth quarterback the Texans have played in the past five years.
Watson made his first start in Week 2 and immediately excelled, leading the Texans to a 13-9 win on the road against the Bengals. Since then, he's turned a team known for defense into one with a high-flying offense. Under his guidance, the Texans had scored 30 or more points in five straight games to set a franchise record.
Watson's 19 touchdown passes are tried for the league lead and are the most in NFL history through a player's first seven career games. He leads all quarterbacks this season with 21 touchdowns overall and has thrown four or more touchdown passes in three games this season to join Fran Tarkenton as the only rookies in NFL history to do so.
The Texans will sign Matt McGloin to back up Savage, a person familiar with the move told The AP on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced it. McGloin, who played for O'Brien at Penn State, was released by the Eagles on Sept. 1.
Colts' Andrew Luck placed on injured reserve
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will be placed on injured reserve, likely ending his season.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard made the announcement on Thursday.
"We're going to shut his throwing down and we're going to continue rehab, hard rehab," Ballard said.
It's hardly a surprise.
Since undergoing surgery in January for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, the star quarterback missed all of Indy's off-season workouts, all of training camp, the entire pre-season and will miss his ninth straight regular-season game Sunday at Houston.
Luck didn't even start throwing to teammates until early October and was shut down two weeks later after complaining of soreness in his right shoulder.
So with the Colts (2-6) struggling, their playoff hopes fading fast and Luck apparently not close to 100 per cent, Indianapolis made the smart move.
"He was frustrated. He's a competitive guy, he knows the impact he has on a Sunday," Ballard said. "He's a difference-maker. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league, so he's frustrated."
Dr. Amin Tehrany, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders and knees and is a founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care in New York, doesn't believe the length of the recovery should set off alarms.
"It's a little unusual," said Tehrany, who hasn't examined Luck. "The question is how severe was the injury, how much surgery was required and what type of surgery was required. He also seems to have had the injury for a long time, two years. When the complaints of the injury linger for a long time, the recovery takes longer."
In the meantime, Jacoby Brissett continued to replace Luck in the lineup and the Colts continued to search for backups. Four quarterbacks worked out Tuesday at the team's complex.