Reports say former Clemson quarterback tore his ACL
Just when he was starting to take the NFL by storm, Deshaun Watson’s rookie season appears to be over in Houston.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the former Clemson Tiger tore his ACL and is out for the season. This coming after the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Watson went down during a non-contact drill during Thursday’s practice.
Watson’s injury is eerily similar to when he tore his the ACL in his left knee at Georgia Tech during his freshman season at Clemson on November 15, 2014. Much like he has done in the NFL this year, Watson took the college football world by storm during his freshman season when in his first start he threw a school record six touchdown passes against North Carolina.
He also totaled four touchdowns in a win over NC State the following week before breaking his finger in his throwing hand against Louisville in his third career start. He missed the next three games before starting the Georgia Tech game when he went down in the first quarter without being touched on a quarterback run.
Watson’s ACL injury at Clemson was not officially reported as an ACL tear by Dabo Swinney until after he came back (on the torn ACL) and beat South Carolina to snap the Gamecocks five-game winning streak over the Tigers.
“This is so similar to the 2014 season, his freshman year at Clemson,” Swinney said in a statement. “In his first career start against North Carolina he threw a school record six touchdown passes, then he had four more (two rushing and two passing) the next week against NC State. Then he suffered an injury during the Georgia Tech game.
“Now he leads the NFL in touchdown passes and this happens.”
Watson finished his freshman year at Clemson completing 68 percent of his passes for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight games.
Since starting in Week 2 of the NFL season, Watson has led the Texans to a 3-3 record, which included some impressive performances. He became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw at least three touchdowns in four straight games.
He was just named the AFC Player of the month for October and the NFL Rookie of the month as well. Earlier this year, he nearly outdueled Tom Brady in a shootout at New England and did the same against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks last week.
“I talked to Deshaun late this afternoon and we are disappointed. But, he is a person who has had some setbacks in his life, and always comes back stronger. Since he went through the rehab before, he knows what it takes.
“At least this happened in the middle of the season and he has had the opportunity to show what he can do,” Swinney said. “I see today he was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. It would have been so much worse if it happened in training camp.”
After throwing for 402 yards and three touchdowns against the Seahawks, Seattle’s All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said Watson was the best quarterback he has ever gone against and will be an elite quarterback by next year.
Watson was the only quarterback in the NFL in October to have a quarterback rating over 100 all four weeks of the month. He had a 90.6 rating against the Patriots. The Texans have now lost J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Watson for the season.
Watson is currently leading the NFL with 19 touchdown passes and had a quarterback rating of 103.0. He completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards.
“All he did after the injury in 2014 was come back and lead us to the National Championship game twice and of course we won it last year,” Swinney said. “He started all 30 games the last two years here.
“I have no doubt he will come back from this. He has the resolve. His work ethic and drive are incredible.”
Houston Texans beat writer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle said Watson injured the knee on a toss play to the running back. Watson is expected to have surgery.