Houston Texans fans hoping to catch a preseason glimpse of defensive end J.J. Watt need to pay close attention. Watt sightings in the exhibition season have proven to be a rarity in recent years.
As Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle points out, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year has barely played in the preseason over the past few seasons, as the team looks to keep him healthy for when the games actually count.
Last season, Watt appeared in just two preseason games, playing a total of 19 snaps. That was a huge jump from 2013, when he suited up for just one game and played all of two snaps. In 2012, Watt didn't appear in any of Houston's preseason contests.
Watt, who has 51.5 sacks over his last three seasons, doesn't seem to be suffering from the lack of preseason experience.
"The way that we practice and the way that I try and attack every day, I don't think it's completely necessary," Watt said, per the Chronicle. "I'd love to get out there and play the game anytime I can. If they'll let me play, I'll play. If they think it's in the best interest of the team for me not to, I won't. It really doesn't matter to me."
After sitting out the preseason opener last week against the San Francisco 49ers, it's not yet clear if Watt will play this week against the Denver Broncos. If he doesn't he said he'll still find a way to contribute.
"Trying to help the young guys, doing whatever I can to help the young guys and give them as much as advice I can," Watt said. "Last game, it was a little bit of settling them down after their first series because some of them came off really excited, which is great.
"They love the game. They love the adrenaline. Then you have to just kind of remind them, just take a deep breath, play the game you know how to play. Try to give whatever advice I can give."
(h/t Houston Chronicle)
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