Since tearing his ACL back in November, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been on a steady path of recovery. This continues to evoke optimism from the organization about his availability for the 2018 season. The Texans have their eyes on him possibly being ready to take the field by the season opener if he stays on course with his recovery program.
According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, head coach Bill O'Brien once again voiced that the 22-year-old is ahead of schedule in his rehab.
#Texans coach Bill O’Brien says QB Deshaun Watson is ahead of schedule in ACL rehab and could be on the field throwing for OTAs. Probably not in team periods but in individuals.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 27, 2018
The fact that Watson could throw on the field in OTAs is a huge sign that he has continued to make significant progress his recovery. Despite him being ahead of schedule, the Texans have voiced no concern at this point about him pushing his body too quickly to get back onto the field.
They are likely being cautious with his rehab work, as he is recovering from a major injury that could see him experience a setback if it's not handled properly. The injury typically takes between nine months to a year to fully heal, so it appears he's on track to beat that at this point if he's able to partake in individual offseason workouts.
There is much riding on Watson's shoulders as he has quickly shown that he can be the long-term solution for the franchise under center for the next decade. In his first seven games, Watson threw for 1,699 yards while setting the rookie franchise-record with 19 touchdown passes, which were tied for the most in the NFL at the time before an ACL tear in practice ended his season.
During that stretch, he had a huge performance in his final game before the injury in a tough 41-38 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, compiling a career-best 402 passing yards and four touchdowns.
These next few months could be indicative of his status to start the 2018 season, as he moves toward putting the injury in the rearview mirror. If anything, this latest update provides strong hope that he'll be back on the field well before Week 1 kicks off.