During Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texan defensive end J.J. Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg.
Watt’s injury happened in the first quarter of the game, collapsing when his left knee buckled while attempting to tackle Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. His recovery timetable is uncertain, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and he will be out of the season indefinitely.
“I can’t sugarcoat it, I am devastated,” Watt wrote on Twitter Monday. “All I want to do is be out there on that field for my teammates and this city. I’m sorry.”
The NFL player’s injury comes merely five games into the season. In 2016, Watt was only able to play in three games due to a back injury.
“I don’t have a ton of information about it, but I feel terrible for the guy,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien told The Washington Post. “But with that being said, just knowing him and knowing the type of guy that he is, he’s an amazing human being. And he will work extremely hard to be back to play for this football team. I know that.”
This season had more significance for the Texans beyond football, as The Washington Post noted. Watt “became an inspirational civic leader” after Hurricane tore through Houston, bringing unprecedented flooding and widespread damage to the area.
“If he was beloved before, he’s something else now,” the outlet noted.
Watt ultimately raised more than $37 million in relief efforts for his home city in a crowdfunding campaign with an initial goal of $200,000. Watt began the fundraiser with $100,000 of his own money.
Get well soon, J.J.