HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt's penchant for violent collisions left a deep gash on the bridge of his nose that required six stitches in Week 4. Each time he's played since, the wound has been reopened, resulting in a permanent — and ugly — mark on the Texans star's face.
Now that the season is winding down, the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year tells The Associated Press he'll look into having plastic surgery to repair the injury. He's considering the procedure mostly at the prodding of his mother.
"She hates it," Watt said.
The injury has left an obvious indentation and bright red mark across the top of his nose. When it first happened, he was seen on the sideline with blood gushing from the gash and down both sides of his face. Though he'd already received stitches to close the wound by the time he entered the locker room after that game, he still had blood crusted all over his face and uniform.
Watt said he got it stitched back up in the two games after the initial injury. But that didn't stop it from breaking open and bleeding every time he played, so he finally gave up and stopped having it repaired game after game.
He acknowledged that it is "very painful" each time it gets hit, but that it's fine as long as nothing touches it.
He got a different helmet before Sunday's game against Denver and said that made the situation a little better. He plans to use the helmet again when Houston (2-13) looks to end a franchise-record 13-game losing streak Sunday at Tennessee.
When Houston had two weeks between games because of its bye in late October, the injury looked a little better. But as soon as he went back to hitting, it became a problem again.
"Once it gets times to heal up and rest, it goes back to pretty normal," he said. "We'll see what happens. If it doesn't heal itself, then I will look into getting it fixed."
The problem hasn't slowed down Watt, and the third-year player has been a bright spot in Houston's dreadful season. He leads the Texans with 71 tackles, 9½ sacks and 17 tackles for losses. He's also swatted down six passes and has forced three fumbles with two recoveries.
Watt needs half a sack to join Mario Williams as the only players in franchise history to record consecutive seasons with at least 10, after he had a franchise-best 20½ last year. He has 35½ sacks in his career and needs one in the final game to pass Anthony Smith and Jevon Kearse for most sacks in a player's first three NFL seasons.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org