BOSTON (CBS) — Deshaun Watson suffered a stunning setback on Thursday, as his rookie season came to a sudden end after he tore his ACL during the Texans’ practice. The quarterback went down on a non-contact drill while running a read option play on the team’s grass practice field, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first tweeted the news that the Texans feared a torn ACL for Watson, which was quickly confirmed through an MRI. The team acted quickly to replace him, signing both Matt McGloin and T.J. Yates to back up reinstalled starter Tom Savage.
Watson’s injury came on the same day that the division rival Colts decided to place franchise QB Andrew Luck on injured reserve, ending his season. The Texans play the Colts at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, with Savage vs. Jacoby Brissett the expected QB matchup.
The rookie had been enjoying a sensational first season before his injury, posting a 103.0 passer rating in seven games (six starts). He is currently tied for the NFL lead in passing touchdowns (19) with the Eagles’ Carson Wentz.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who is also out for the season with a broken tibial plateau in his left leg, tweeted a message of support for his teammate on Thursday night:
ESPN’s Josina Anderson tweeted another supportive message from a fellow injured player, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.:
According to data obtained by The MMQB, Watson became the 295th player to be placed in injured reserve, the PUP list, or the non-football injury list. That’s the highest injury total in the past five seasons.
Watson tore his other ACL in 2014 while he was at Clemson, and actually played with it in a game against South Carolina. So there’s no doubting the QB’s toughness at this point. He can at least look toward 2018 as a chance to build off what was an eye-opening rookie season.
UPDATE: Watson has addressed his Twitter followers with a message beginning with the caption “Stay tuned.” Check out his full tweet below: