J.J. Watt has been working hard to try and come back from his shoulder injury while he is on Injured Reserve, but he has been silent on the subject, save for some inspirational tweets here and there.
But the defensive end talked for the first time this week in an interview with a teenager from Houston, Maanav Gupta, who had reached out to Watt on Twitter hoping to get Watt on his YouTube sports show, "Maanav's Sports Talk." Lo and behold, Watt said yes, and even Watt had to smile when he was asked about his shoulder, noting that this was the first time he was addressing it publicly.
"It's going really well," Watt said. "It's going much better than we could've hoped or expected for it to go at this time. I'm feeling really good. I'm doing a lot of stuff to try and push it as hard as I can to smartly and safely get back as fast as I can."
Maanav asked Watt where he finds motivation. And Watt got into details about his current injury -- including confirming that, at first, he was expected to be out until next year.
"I tear everything in my shoulder against the Texans in October," Watt said. "My first reaction is, "Damn, I'm on a team that's 7-0, we're finally looking like we have a great team and have an opportunity to do something special and now I blow my shoulder out. Dang, all this work for nothing, and now I'm done.'
"They tell me I'm done, I have to get surgery and it's going to take four to six months. I'm sitting there and I can easily pout and easily say, 'Woe is me, four-to-six months, I'll do what I have to do.' But instead I said, 'Nah, I'm not going to accept that.' "
Watt said he talked to the doctors, strategizing a plan to heal as fast as medically possible. After that, it was just a commitment to rehab has hard and fast as he could.
"There are days when I struggle, feel a little pain, and you get a little down on yourself," Watt said. "But then you remind yourself of the bigger goal. You remind yourself how lucky you are to be in the position you're in
"Many more people in the world have bigger problems than I have. So if I'm complaining, I'm doing something wrong."