At some point, it’s just painful to watch how the Houston Texans are handling Deshaun Watson.
Watson‘s hand became stuck inside Cincinnati’s Sam Hubbard’s facemask and everyone in NRG Stadium became quiet.
Here’s the last good thing in a 4-11 season, now lying on the ground writhing in pain. The city of Houston could exhale when Watson, the hopeful franchise quarterback for the next two decades, walked off the field on his own accord.
He returned for the team’s final drive in a 37-31 loss to the Bengals. He shouldn’t have. He shouldn’t play again this season behind a makeshift offensive line.
Instead, he’s expected to trot out once again for the season finale against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
“I haven’t talked to medical people yet. If he’s OK, I think we should play him,” Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel said to reporters. “Every time you’re on a football field, there’s a chance you could get hurt.”
Romeo Crennel said if Watson is healthy, he's playing against the Titans. Watson says he's healthy and will play against the Titans. I think he should sit because he's their most valuable asset, but what do I know? At least he'll make the offense interesting as he always does.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) December 28, 2020
What are the Texans thinking?
It’s not about Watson’s lack of strength or drive. It’s about his safety for the future of the organization. With the postseason picture well out of the mirror, the franchise should be prepping 2021 and looking for the right coach to lead the team.
There’s nothing left for Watson to prove this season. With a 22-yard touchdown pass to Darren Fells, the fourth-year quarterback collected his 30th passing touchdowns in a single season. That made him the Texans all-time franchise leader for a single-season in passing scores.
On the flip side, his offensive line has allowed him to be sacked 45 times on the year.
Watson’s mobility will buy the franchise time to rebuild and retool their offensive line. Naturally, an addition like Oregon’s Penei Sewell would immediately upgrade the unit and allow Tytus Howard to play his natural guard position. Too bad the Dolphins hold that pick after the Laremy Tunsil trade.
Wow! After a closer look from Sunday's sack/fumble, no wonder Deshaun Watson's arm hurts. That's his hand bend back in quite an uncomfortable position as he is sacked by the Bengal's Sam Hubbard. pic.twitter.com/UNLaSSYuaz
— Brett Coomer (@coomerchron) December 28, 2020
The next GM of the Texans will have their hands full. At least some good news for fans of the franchise is the quarterback position is set.
That is if he can survive Tennessee’s defense with one of the league’s worst offensive lines.