Deshaun Watson‘s rookie season may be over. The Houston Texans’ starting quarterback reportedly suffered an ACL injury in practice on Thursday. The injury, which reportedly occurred without contact, is feared to be season-ending.
Watson, a rookie out of Clemson, was taken 12th overall by the Texans in the NFL Draft this spring after leading the Tigers to a national championship over Alabama in January.
Ian Rapoport first reported the injury on Thursday afternoon, which is devastating news for Texans fans and also people who enjoy watching good quarterbacks play football.
According to former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz, the injury took place with Watson in the open field as he ran with the ball on a read option keeper.
It’s a heartbreaking injury for Watson, who was among the favorites to be named the league’s Rookie of the Year on a 3-4 Texans team that was genuinely fun to watch. Watson’s most recent game was against the Seattle Seahawks in which he had 402 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 41-38 loss.
On Thursday, Watson was initially reported as “limited” at practice until tests later showed the extent of his injury.
He had been brilliant at times this season, including his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals in which he rushed for a 49-yard touchdown moments after taking a huge hit. If this is the end of his season, Watson will finish his rookie year with 1,699 yards passing, 19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He also had 269 yards rushing with two scores on the ground.
Off the field, Watson made an immediate impact off the field, giving a game check to Texans employees who were devastated by Hurricane Harvey. It’s been a season full of major injuries in the NFL, but given the sheer potential of Watson and how little time we’ve had to watch him play, this injury really stings.