The first quarter of Sunday Night Football couldn’t have gone much worse for the Houston Texans, who lost J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the season. Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture, while Mercilus suffered a torn pectoral.
Oh, and Houston (2-3) lost to Kansas City (5-0), 42-34.
“This is a killer. This is an absolute killer,” three-time Super Bowl champion and SportsRadio 610 host Ted Johnson said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Everybody was so pumped for this game. A lot of people thought if the Texans beat the Kansas City Chiefs in this spot Sunday night when they’re 4-0, everybody is going to be talking abut the Houston Texans and this young rookie quarterback they got, Deshaun Watson. But that’s not the case.”
Watt crumbled to the ground while in pursuit of Alex Smith and had to be helped off the field, grimacing with every step.
“People were crying in the stadium,” Johnson said. “No one has ever seen a visual like that. J.J. Watt is having to be helped off the field, he’s in obvious pain, you’ve never seen him look like that – and I think it was just a shocking thing.”
Johnson compared Watt’s injury – and subsequent reaction – to Luke Kuechly bawling after a concussion last November.
“It was a visual I will never forget – just a shocking kind of visual,” Johnson said of the Carolina linebacker. “That’s kind of how it was with J.J. Watt. That’s a devastating injury coming off the back surgery from last year. This is mentally going to be the hardest thing he’s ever gone through because you’re going to question your football mortality. You’re going to question whether or not you should be playing this game or not. It’s going to feel like you’re irrelevant for two years because out of sight, out of mind. And so, it’s a very difficult thing where J.J.’s going to be at in his career right now. This is a cruel, cruel game, it really is.”
Mercilus, meanwhile, had a “huge impact” on the Texans defense. In fact, he kept the defense together after Watt’s back issues in 2016. Someone else will have to do that in 2017.
“Losing those two guys for the rest of the season is an absolute killer for this team,” Johnson said.
The Texans host the Browns (0-5) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET before their Week 7 bye.