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Watt makes return to field at first training camp practice

Watt missed 11 game sin 2017 after breaking leg

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV – Five weeks into the 2017 season, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt broke his leg, causing him to miss the final 11 games of the year.

He returned to the field on Thursday for the opening of training camp and is fully healthy with no restrictions. 

“I feel great. I have no restrictions in practice, no restrictions whatsoever," Watt said after participating in Thursday's first training camp practice for the Texans

"I think I’ll have an off day here and there because I’m a vet and I get one," Watt joked. 

"But I feel great. Like I said, today was all about testing my conditioning and everything and my conditioning is at a great place. Yeah, I’m 100 percent. I feel great.”

Watt, missed the majority of the season for the second straight year. Back injuries cost him much of the 2016 season. Those injuries coming after he played in every regular season and playoff games through his first five seasons.

He acknowledged the road back has been tough, but is happy with where he is following his rehab.

“I think I’m starting in a really good place this year. It feels like I’m starting just a regular training camp, which is good," Watt said.

Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, obviously, was happy to have number 99 back on the field.

“(He) came back in great shape. He’s worked really hard," O'Brien said.

"I mean, he’s better to ask about it than me but he’s worked extremely hard to get back to where he’s at. He’s a driven guy, as we all know. He’s a great leader on this team and we’re glad to have him back.”

Watt enters his eighth season with the Texans and hopes to get back to the type of player he was when he won defensive player of the year three times in his first five seasons.

"I feel like I’m starting fresh, which is the goal. When I started this rehab process, the one thing I wanted to do was earn a clean slate.

"I wanted to earn a fresh start, earn a chance to go out there, start a training camp from day one, go out there and play. I think that clean slate has come and I have a chance to once again try to write my own story.”