NFC South teams hoping to see defensive improvements during training camp

The Carolina Panthers ran away with the NFC South a year ago. Even coming off an extremely successful season that culminated in a Super Bowl appearance, there are still areas of concern. Without Josh Norman, the secondary includes three rookie cornerbacks competing during training camp for playing time.

In Atlanta, the biggest question is on the other side of the ball — will Matt Ryan and the offense be able to perfect their communication during Falcons camp to take a step forward this season?

One of the main storylines Tom Jackson Authentic Womens Jersey for Bucs fans will be whether rookie cornerback Vernon Hargreaves will earn a starting role in Tampa Bay’s defense. Hargreaves got some work in the nickel as well as outside during OTAs and minicamp and will compete for playing time with experienced veterans Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks. The team also brought in veteran cornerback Brent Grimes, a four-time Pro Bowler, after he was waived by the Dolphins.

Quarterback Jameis Winston had a Trevor Siemian Authentic Womens Jersey strong rookie campaign, but the team wants to see him continue to develop in his second year. The good news is that Winston has a lot of offensive help. Doug Martin and Charles Sims are still around to keep things going on the ground. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a solid receiving tight end, and Winston has two quality receivers to work with in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. The battle for the third spot on the receivers depth chart will be an important one for the Bucs — perhaps this could be a breakout season for Kenny Bell.

General manager John Elway didn’t succumb to Brock Osweiler’s contract demands — he signed with the Texans and appears to be on acrimonious terms with the organization — but he did wind up giving in to Von Miller. The ferocious outside linebacker signed a six-year, $114.5 million deal, including $70 million guaranteed, with the Broncos, ensuring that the team will be led by its defense once again.

The need to re-sign Miller was likely magnified by their losses of defensive lineman Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan. Denver has two starting spots to fill at linebacker this training camp, and will likely try to find ways for its dominant pass-rush to cover up any warts.

Monitoring Jamaal Charles’ progress as he battles back from a torn ACL will probably be the dominant storyline this training camp for the Chiefs. Charles wrecked his ACL in mid-October, meaning he’s roughly nine months removed from the gruesome injury. Though the timeline for recovery for knee injuries gets shorter every year, the Chiefs will have to keep an eye on his workload.

The biggest personnel hole on the Chiefs is in the secondary, where they’ll aim to replace cornerback Sean Smith, who signed with the Raiders in free agency. Sophomore Marcus Peters emerged as the unequivocal No. 1 corner with his eight interceptions last season, but the Chiefs will have to find someone to complement him. The most probable candidates are Phillip Gaines and third-round pick KeiVarae Russell.

Eric Berry got stuck the franchise tag and no long-term deal. He will not report for the start of camp, so that’s a situation to keep an eye on. They’ll look to build off the momentum from their 2015 campaign, where they won their final 11 contests and routed the Houston Texans in the first round of the playoffs.

With the emergence of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper last year, the Raiders sought to shore up their defense this offseason. Oakland brought in Malcolm Smith, Bruce Irvin and Reggie Nelson to join a unit that surrendered the 11th-most points in the league last season. They’ll join star linebacker Khalil Mack, who recorded a whopping 15 sacks in his sophomore campaign.

Marvin Harrison Pro Football Hall of Fame speech: Colts legend says thanks

Marvin Harrison is one of the most enigmatic players in recent memory and has never been much of a talker, which is why his Hall of Fame speech was one of the most anticipated of the evening.

“You don’t have to be so quiet,” Harrison opened, and the crowd responded with applause

“I’ve broken a lot of records, I’ve held a lot of records, but records were made to be broken,” Harrison said. “But my current Hall of Famers sitting to my left and right — I’m not going to break the record to have the shortest speech in Hall of Fame history.”

“The @Colts have the best fans in the game.”

Marvin Harrison remembers his time in Indy.

For Tony Dungy, what he taught them was bigger than football.

Alongside Peyton Manning, Harrison was a primary part of Sean Lee Jersey the one of the most potent offenses of its time. He reeled in 95 receptions during the Colts’ Super Bowl season in 2006 and retired just two years later.

Ever since he walked away from the field, Harrison’s legacy has been complicated by a couple of gun-related incidents. Off-field matters aren’t supposed to influence Hall of Fame voters, though Harrison wasn’t elected until his third year of eligibility.

On the field, Harrison’s legacy remains. He still owns the single-season record for receptions, which Terrance Williams Jersey he set in 2002 with 143 catches. In 13 years with the Colts, Harrison caught 1,102 passes for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. He was named to eight Pro Bowls and six All-Pro teams.

Evans, 32, was a fourth-round draft pick by New Orleans in 2006 and became a fixture in the Saints offensive line from day one. A six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection, he started all 153 regular season games he played in for the Saints. One of the key pillars on their 2009 Super Bowl championship team, Evans is widely considered to be among the greatest players in franchise history.

However, age and injuries have taken a toll on Evans. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last season, limiting him to a career-low 11 games. Although he’s clearly in decline and has shown inconsistency in recent years, Evans still has probably one or two solid seasons left as a capable starter and certainly has a lot to give as a mentor for younger players in the locker room, including the Seahawks’ first-round pick this year, right guard Germain Ifedi.

The Rams are so pleased with Jared Goff’s progress they’re making him the third-string QB

Thursday’s fourth and final preseason game was another bad outing for the first overall pick in the draft, but don’t worry, says QB expert Jeff Fisher, he’s definitely better than he was when he got there.

This is an @AP_NFL picture of #Seahawks CB Jeremy Lane sitting in protest during the national anthem tonight pic.twitter.com/AKOltqYJrt

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2016
People took note of Kaepernick remaining seated during the anthem before the 49ers faced the Packers in Week 3 of the preseason. Kaepernick said he is choosing to remain seated until things change.

Carroll added that he hadn’t talked to Lane about Jeremy Kerley Jersey the protest before the game, but he made sure to check on him before his postgame presser.

“He was very composed and poised about it,” Carroll said. “We support our guys.”

Sanchez didn’t play at all in the Broncos’ final two preseason games. In the crucial third game, Trevor Siemian handled the first half and rookie Paxton Lynch was in there for the second half. Lynch played all of the fourth game with Siemian prepping to start Week 1 of the regular season.

Sanchez, a seven-year veteran, went 20 of 30 for 219 yards and one touchdown as well as three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception) in game action this summer. He was sacked three times in the Broncos’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 20, which was his last appearance with the team.

This is the latest setback for Sanchez, who’s never been able to protect the football during his NFL career. He’s thrown 86 touchdowns and 84 interceptions in 75 games.

The New York Jets drafted Sanchez, 29, with the No. 5 overall pick Jeremy Ross Jersey in the 2009 NFL Draft and immediately named him their starting quarterback. While his regular season numbers were abysmal — 12 touchdowns and 20 picks — he took the Jets to the AFC Championship that season. New York also qualified for the AFC Championship with Sanchez under center the following year.

But ever since the 2010 campaign, it’s been all downhill for the former USC standout. He went 14-17 in his final two seasons as the Jets’ starting quarterback before missing all of 2013 with a shoulder injury. The Eagles scooped up Sanchez on a one-year deal in 2014 before re-signing him to a two-year contract. He posted an 86.6 QB rating in Philadelphia, throwing for 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games.

The Broncos have named Siemian the starting quarterback for now, though his inexperience may force a change down the line. Neither Siemian nor Lynch has lit it up this preseason, but both possess a higher ceiling than Sanchez. Not many teams have use for a QB who can’t stop turning the ball over.

“Philadelphia is a passionate football town and will serve as a tremendous backdrop for the Draft and provide a great atmosphere for our fans and incoming players,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a release. “[Eagles owner] Jeffrey Lurie has been a strong advocate and supporter of the draft on behalf of the City of Philadelphia throughout the entire selection process.”

Drew Brees passes Dan Marino to claim No. 3 spot on all-time passing yardage list

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has reached yet another significant career milestone. The 37-year-old passed Dan Marino on the all-time passing yards list on Sunday against the New York Giants. Brees entered Week 2 needing 36 yards to pass Marino’s mark of 61,361 yards.

Brees and the Saints got Lance Alworth Jersey out to a slow start against the New York Giants, with Brees needing four drives to actually reach 36 yards, but he did it. The pass that put him over was an 8-yard pass to tight end Coby Fleener.

The Browns announced McCown’s return to the game was questionable with the shoulder injury, but McCown jogged back out of the locker room and when the Browns came up on offense, he resumed play. The injury to his left shoulder is his non-throwing shoulder.

McCown is the second starter for Cleveland this season, as Robert Griffin III was awarded the starting role in the preseason. But Griffin was hurt in the team’s opener and McCown, a starter last season, was given the job. McCown was playing well when he went down with the injury, completing 5 of 7 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to first-round pick Corey Coleman.

Kessler, 23, was a third-round pick in this year’s draft and is the only other quarterback on the roster. Kessler may not be ready to play at all, as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Kessler is “not close to being ready to play” earlier in the week.

Sam Shields: When Sam Bradford Malcom Floyd Jersey makes his Vikings debut Sunday night, he’ll face a Packers defense that’s missing its No. 1 cornerback. Shields was ruled out with a concussion after being listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report. The blow came on a seemingly routine play against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and is the fifth documented concussion Shields has suffered in his career. With him out of the lineup, the Packers will be forced to rely on three second-year players at corner: Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius LaDarius Gunter.

Can you beat the Crowd’s Line?

Menu With three offensive stars on the mend, the Pittsburgh Steelers limp into AFC Divisional Round matchup with the top-seeded Broncos. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. EST on at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Quarterback Roethlisberger, receiver Brown, and running back all played a starring role Pittsburgh’s epic 34 comeback win Week 15 — but all three could miss this showdown. Roethlisberger and Brown’s losses would be felt greatest; they teamed up for 189 yards and two touchdowns against the NFL’s top secondary. That secondary is far healthier for this playoff rematch. So too is Peyton Manning, who sat on the sidelines as Osweiler led his team through their regular- meeting Pittsburgh. Here are three keys to advancing for the Steelers and Broncos: Can you beat the Crowd’s Line? Submit your final score prediction below. Good luck! STEELERS: 1. Stack the middle of the field on pass defense Manning no longer has the arm strength to stretch the field. Pittsburgh’s Robert Horry Jersey cornerbacks should play shallow and the linebackers should get deep coverage to crowd passing lanes underneath. Taking away passing game from 20 yards, it would force Manning to try to beat the Steelers deep, something he won’t be able to do on a consistent basis.

Rediscover If Brown is unable to play, it have to be time for the Steelers. The veteran tight end hasn’t been featured much the passing game this with all of the other weapons at Roethlisberger’s disposal. ‘s ability to find creases between the hashes free up some space for Martavis to do some damage on the outside. Expect to have more than the two receptions for nine yards he had last week Cincinnati and the three catches and 12 yards he had last time out against the Broncos. 3. protection With running more routes, Pittsburgh need to use extra tight end or lineman to help block ‘s ferocious pass-rushing tandem of and DeMarcus Ware. Tight end Matt Spaeth saw just 11 snaps last week, but have to shoulder a bigger load to keep Roethlisberger from getting knocked around and causing more problems for his shoulder. BRONCOS: 1. if Manning can go all 60 minutes If Week 15’s game only lasted 30 minutes, Osweiler might still be starting. He torched Pittsburgh with 214 first-half passing yards, three passing touchdowns and a rushing score. And Osweiler was a magnificent 8-for-8 on third downs, too. Then, the meltdown: three fourth-quarter punts, two turnovers on downs and interception. Manning, who hasn’t finished a full game since Nov. 8, have to finish this one Osweiler’s place. 2. Let Chris Jr. get his sweet revenge Jr. saw his 35-game touchdown-less streak snapped by a worthy adversary., he’ll seek payback with or without Brown the lineup. Expect to the cornerback who starred for the majority of the rather than the one who broke down against No. 84 a few weeks back. 3. Do the safety dance Roethlisberger dropped 380 passing yards on the league’s best, but battered secondary Week 15. If he suits up, he’ll have a tougher task against Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward, who both missed the last meeting with injuries. Landry Jones have the unenviable task of outwitting those two safeties if Big can’t go.

Menu Packers RB is rarely inactive Roy Hibbert Jersey for a game. This is only the second game of his career that he’s missed. AP Photo Chiu After his starting job earlier the week, Green Bay Packers running back was declared inactive for the team’s matchup with the Detroit Lions on Sunday. – Green Bay Packers November 15 This is the first game has missed since Week 3 of his rookie, when a concussion sidelined him for a 34 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. overcame that injury and finished his rookie with over 1 rushing yards. He eclipsed that same milestone last year, without missing a single game. This former second-round draft pick has struggled to make a similar impact this year; he’d be lucky to finish with 600 yards. James Starks, a 29-year-old veteran, is the Packers’ new No. 1 running back, as he’s been the more effective ball-carrier this with a yards-per-attempt average of 4. said earlier the week that injuries have not been a factor this, but Green Bay’s decision to inactivate him Week 10 seems to contradict that claim.

General Muntadher fled after two close colleagues were killed after they were summoned to the ministry

The second said: They electrocuted me. They me up from the ceiling. They were pulling at ears with pliers, stamping on head, asking me about wife, saying they would bring her here. According to Maass interview for the investigation: The interrogation centre was the only place the mini green zone Samarra that I was not allowed to visit. However, one day, Steele said to me, ‘hey, they’ve just captured a Saudi jihadi. Would you like to interview him?’ I’m taken not into the main area, the kind of main hall – although out the corner of eye I can that there were a lot of prisoners there with their hands tied behind their backs – I was taken to a side office where the Saudi was brought, and there was actually blood dripping down the side of this desk the office. Peress picks up the story: We were a room the library interviewing Steele and I look around and I blood everywhere, you know. He hears the scream from the other who’s being tortured as we speak, there’s the blood stains the corner of the desk front of him. Maass says: And while this interview was going on with this Saudi Mike Gartner Jersey with Steele also the room, there were these terrible screams, somebody shouting Allah Allah Allah. But it wasn’t kind of religious ecstasy or something like that, these were screams of pain and terror. One of the torture survivors remembers how Adnan Thabit came into the library and he told Captain Dorade and Captain, go easy on the prisoners. ‘t dislocate their shoulders. This was because people were having to undergo surgery when they were released from the library.

General Muntadher fled after two close colleagues were killed after they were summoned to the ministry, their bodies found on a rubbish tip. He got out of Iraq and went to Jordan. less than a month, he says, Steele contacted him. Steele was anxious to meet and suggested he come to the luxury Sheraton hotel Amman where Steele was staying. They met the lobby at 8pm and Steele kept him talking for nearly two hours. According to General Muntadher: He wanted to know specifically: did I have any information about him, James Steele? Did I have evidence against him? Photographs, documents: things which proved he committed things Iraq; things he was worried I might reveal. This was the purpose of his visit. Steele, the, remains enigma. He left Iraq 2005 and has since pursued energy interests, joining the group of companies of Texas oilman Mosbacher. Until now he has stayed where he likes to be – far from the media spotlight. Were it not for Manning’s leaking of millions of US military logs to Wikileaks, which lifted the lid on alleged abuses by the US Iraq, there he well have remained. Footage and images of him are rare. One video clip just 12 seconds features the hour- TV investigation into his work. It captures Steele, then a 58-year-old veteran Iraq, hesitating, looking uncomfortable when he spots a passing camera. He draws back from the lens, watching warily out of the side of his eye and then pulls himself out of sight.

While also won two championships with the Yankees, he said his Mike Richter Jersey years with the A’s make up a significant part of his legacy. I won three World Series here. I played eight years here, nine when I came back, something like that, he said. I hit more home runs here than I hit. I probably accomplished more here…. I ‘t like to compare them, but if I had to say who would it be, I’d probably say the A’s. was the American League and World Series MVP 1973, a year which he tallied 32 home runs and 117 RBIs. He noted that impeccable chemistry is what set the A’s of the early ’70s apart. We were good because we played together throughout the Minor Leagues, and everybody knew where the other guy was going to be, he said. I remember looking to right and Bando was there, look to left it was Rudi, and Catfish and Rollie and Campy. When you went to war every day, when you went on the field every day, you knew you had a chance to win. speculated that those A’s could have won even more titles had the team not been broken up after ’74. I probably think we could have won five or six if we’d have stayed together 10 years, he said. Of course, what injuries would do — we didn’t have injuries. threw out a ceremonial first pitch Saturday night along with Gene Tenace and Fingers, the MVPs of the 1972 and ’74 World Series teams, respectively. enough, said, the current A’s could win a title of their own. They’ll get a diploma here a year or two if they stay healthy — they’ll get their doctorate and win a championship, he said. They’ve got enough pitching there, and I think their front office knows what to do. Leibowitz is associate reporter for. This story was not subject to the approval of League Baseball or its clubs.

Menu Chris hit a three-run to lead the Astros over the Texas Rangers 6 the Alamodome

Menu Chris hit a three-run to lead the Astros over the Texas Rangers 6 the Alamodome on Friday night. ‘s drive off Texas starter cleared the right-center fence 360 feet from home plate at the Alamodome, designed primarily for football and special events such as the NCAA Final Four. Rangers designated hitter Beltre hit his first of the the second inning, almost the same spot as ‘s, to cut the Astros’ lead to 4. Choice hit a two-run shot to trim ‘s lead to one with nobody out the ninth, but the Astros retired the next three batters to end it. starter Jerome gave up one run on three hits and struck out two three innings. allowed four runs and five hits three innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Every Arizona starter but center fielder A.J. Pollock Adrian Clayborn Jersey had a hit off Lohse, who lasted 3 3 innings and surrendered more hits than he recorded outs. He was charged with seven earned runs and saw his rise to 6 after 11 starts as the Brewers fell to 16, matching a club record for losses through 50. Even D-backs starter Hellickson connected against Lohse for a pair of singles, one a go-ahead, three-run second inning. After scoring nine total runs being swept by the Cardinals St. earlier the week, Arizona has scored 14 runs winning the first two of the current series Milwaukee.

Today was, Brewers manager Counsell said. We needed a big performance today. We’d lost six a row we needed a big performance and we didn’t get it. He struggled. It’s concerning. Goldy loves Milwaukee: Goldschmidt’s two home runs marked the sixth time his career he has homered more than once a game. It also added to Goldschmidt’s prodigious numbers at Miller Park. He entered the game with a.476 batting average at Miller Park, the most among players with 40 or more plate appearances. I think he has success everywhere, to be honest, D-backs manager Chip Hale said.

But this is a good place to hit. Good background. Ball seems to carry well. Guys are comfortable hitting here. Another loss for Brewers: Besides losing the game, the Brewers lost another player to injury. Left fielder Khris said he suffered a torn meniscus while striking out the first inning and would undergo surgery on Tuesday, putting him line to become the seventh of Milwaukee’s eight Opening Day position players to a game this. Hellickson hitting stride: After a tough start to the, Hellickson has put together three straight solid starts. On Saturday he allowed two runs over six innings, and he has a 2 record and a 3 over his last three outings. I’m feeling good, Hellickson said. The first handful of starts, I’d fall behind the count and have to throw a fastball and I couldn’t command my offspeed early. I’ve been working on that hard -between starts.

The main thing is just feeling a lot better and keeping the ball Akeem Spence Jersey down, for the most part. QUOTABLE The worst, –, using just those two words to describe the tough times facing the Brewers SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Before playing their 50th game Saturday, the Brewers were more out of first place the National League Central than they had victories this. HISTORY LESSON With their 34th defeat, the 2015 Brewers matched the 1970 and ’72 teams for the most losses the first 50 of a franchise history. The Brewers finished 65 ’70, their first year Milwaukee, and were 65 ’72. The 2002 Brewers, who went on to set a franchise record with 106 losses, were 17 their first 50. WHAT’S NEXT D-backs: The D-backs wrap up their three-game series with the Brewers and a six-game road trip Sunday at 11 a.m. MT at Miller Park. get the start. The right-hander is 1 with a 1 his last five starts. Brewers: Up from -A Biloxi, right-handed sinkerballer Tyler make his League debut when the teams conclude their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The Brewers called on to replace Wily Peralta, who more than a month with a left oblique strain. ‘s first MLB pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. Watch every out-of-market regular game.

Hamhuis returned late the second wearing a cage mask

Moments later, Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis was rushed off the ice pouring blood after being hit by inadvertent high stick by Edmonton’s Arcobello. Hamhuis returned late the second wearing a cage mask. Vancouver had a couple of opportunities to extend its lead the first half of the third period, but Scrivens received some help with Taylor Hall and Ference both clearing pucks moments before a Canucks player could put it open net.

There was no Christine Michael Jersey scoring a back-and-forth first period that saw Scrivens face 12 shots and make 10 stops. The biggest save the opening period went to Scrivens, stopping Henrik Sedin tight with a quick kick save with two minutes remaining. NOTES: Vancouver and Edmonton met five times the regular last year, with the Canucks winning three. … The Canucks hadn’t played since defeating the Oilers 6 a shootout last Saturday. … Nugent-Hopkins returned to the lineup after missing the last two .

Menu Robin Thicke laid it on thick at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on night, making not one but two public proclamations professing his his his estranged wife Patton. When the Blurred Lines singer, 37 accepted the award for Best R&B Single he ended his acceptance speech by saying, Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife for her and support and for putting up with me all these years. PHOTOS: Hottest looks at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards The high school sweethearts, who announced their separation in , are parents to a 3-year-old boy named Julian.

Us Weekly reported that when Thicke returned Cliff Avril Jersey to the stage to perform his new single, Get Her Back he swapped his usually flashy style for a more reserved, heartfelt rendition. The was penned for his wife. Alright, y’all, help me get her back, Thicke told the crowd. With his eyes glistening, Thicke began his which includes lyrics like, I gotta treat her right and I’m gonna go get her, go get her, go get her, go get her back. He then asked the crowd to put their hands together, as he fell onto his knees and crooned, I gotta get her, I gotta get a girl tonight.

Colin Kaepernick says he has gotten death threats, discusses Terence Crutcher

Colin Kaepernick thought about all the possible backlash that would come along with his national-anthem protest including, sadly, death threats.

Kaepernick said he has gotten some death threats from a “couple different avenues” since he started sitting, and then kneeling, for the national anthem. Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

He said he hadn’t alerted team officials to the threats, the San Francisco Chronicle and CSN Bay Area reported.

“No, to me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point,” said Kaepernick, who spent 15 minutes at his locker Tuesday with reporters. “And it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. And that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.”

OVERREACTION: Kirk Cousins and the Redskins (0-2) were a fluke in 2015. Cousins threw a critical end-zone interception that led to Dallas scoring the winning TD.

REALISTIC REACTION: Washington was 4-6 last season before Cousins led them to six straight wins and a division title. Way too early to count them out in the NFC East.

OVERREACTION: Steve Spagnuolo’s defense will lead the Giants (2-0) to the playoffs. After allowing Drew Brees to throw for 511 yards and an NFL-tying seven touchdowns last year, New York limited the Saints to 288 yards in a 16-13 win.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Giants have improved on D, but this team’s success falls on Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo’s high-powered offense.

But that’s an issue for down the line. For this season there isn’t likely to be a quarterback controversy. This is still Jones’ team, and Romo is still his quarterback.

“They either don’t care about what’s going on, or they don’t understand it,” Kaepernick told the Chronicle. “I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on.”

Tough rehab had J.J. Watt worried about playing football again

HOUSTON — Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said there was a point during the offseason when he didn’t know whether he’d ever play football again.

After the Texans’ 30-0 loss in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Kansas City Chiefs, Watt had major surgery in Philadelphia in January. Watt said he had five muscles repaired and both of his lower abs had to be reattached. He also had to have his abductors (one right and two left) reattached.

As he lay for 10 straight days in a Philadelphia hotel room, Watt said he was overwhelmed with the rehab process and his inability to even walk or get out of bed.

And even though he underwent back surgery just before the start of training camp, Watt said there was no doubt in his mind that he would be ready to play in the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears.

“No, there was never a doubt,” Watt said. “Those guys were awesome in helping me and also awesome in being willing to have an aggressive approach. After a surgery, the rehab can go one of many ways, and these guys were willing to accept my aggressive style, and we did it in a smart fashion, but we did it in a way that we knew that this really wasn’t going to be an issue.”

Watt has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career, playing in 85 consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Watt has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career, playing in 85 consecutive games, including playoffs. Watt has played in 89.9 percent of the Texans’ defensive snaps since he was drafted in 2011, which is the highest percentage among all defensive linemen, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Since 2012, Watt has played in 92.8 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

And so, though Watt said the coaching staff might be cautious and put some limitations on what he can do or how long he can play, he plans to fight to play as much as he has in the past.

“I’m sure that they are going to try to put some limitations on me and we are going to have that conversation here as the week goes on,” Watt said. “The way that I felt in the last two practices, I don’t feel it’s necessary. My body feels great. My conditioning level feels great.”

Watt said this has been a tough offseason after going through two surgeries and two rehabs, but it has changed his perspective to not take his health for granted.

“It definitely gives you a new outlook, kind of a fresh approach,” Watt said. “You see things from a different light when you’re going through stuff like that and you go through the ups and downs.

“There have been some days where it has sucked, where it absolutely sucked, but I really enjoyed the adversity that we faced and I enjoyed having to overcome those things and challenges that I really haven’t had before. I hope to never have an offseason like this again. But I definitely learned and grew from it.”

“When I was in Philadelphia after the first surgery, there were some days there where I really questioned whether or not I’d ever be able to play again,” Watt said. “Just some of the stuff we were dealing with from a rehab standpoint. And just the way that the recovery was going early on.”