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J.J. Watt reportedly expected to play in Texans’ opener against Bears

This should come as a shock to no one, but J.J. Watt is still a cyborg with tremendous healing capabilities. Despite undergoing back surgery a month and a half ago, Watt isn’t expected to miss any meaningful time.

A week ago, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said that he could “definitely see” Watt playing in his team’s season opener against the Bears. And, on Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Watt is indeed expected to play in that game, which should have Jay Cutler looking like this:

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Jay Cutler will probably be forced to play against J.J. Watt in Week 1.
USATSI

A season ago, Watt overcame a broken hand, herniated disk, and five fully or partially torn core muscles to win his third Defensive Player of the Year award. He notched 17.5 sacks despite playing with one arm for a portion of the season. So no, an injured back probably won’t slow him down.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they’re also dealing with a few issues up front. Center Hroniss Grasu is out for the season and Pro Bowl right guard Kyle Long, who was reportedly signed to an extension Saturday, is dealing with a shoulder injury. The Bears seem unconcerned about Long’s injury and Schefter reported that they’re hosting former Packers guard Josh Sitton on a visit, so there’s a chance the Bears’ offensive line will be bolstered before next week.

Watt’s recovery means more to the Texans, though. They’re a playoff team entering the season with real expectations after signing quarterback Brock Osweiler in the offseason. Watt, who landed at No. 2 in Pete Prisco’s list of the top-100 players for 2016, and his quick recovery legitimizes the Texans’ expectations.