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Texans’ Deshaun Watson limited in walkthrough with a back injury

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a back injury, the team announced. The Texans are preparing for a Week 17 matchup with the Tennessee Titans, where they can play spoiler to their rival’s playoff hopes.

This puts the Texans in a bit of a tricky situation. They’ve already clinched a playoff berth, but the seeding is still to be determined. If the Kansas City Chiefs win against the Los Angeles Chargers, there’s no point in risking Watson taking the field, Houston would be locked into the fourth seed.

However, if the Chiefs lose and the Texans win, the Texans can move into the third seed.

Kansas City plays in a morning game while Houston plays in the afternoon, meaning that the Texans will know their seeding before their game starts. If the Chiefs win in the morning, coach Bill O’Brien has the luxury of resting his guys, including Watson.

Assuming that the Chiefs do secure the third seed, several Houston starters could be resting in Week 17. Star defensive end J.J. Watt was just activated off of the injured reserve, and won’t take the field, as he has missed seven games of the required eight. DeAndre Hopkins, Carlos Hyde, and Laremy Tunsil are all other names who could be in street clothes come Sunday.

That also means that the Titans could waltz into the playoffs after beating an understaffed Houston team. That rounds out the entire AFC playoff picture, setting the stage for the Texans to face the Buffalo Bills in the first round.