In fact, the only noteworthy thing that Watson did on Monday was receive impromptu treatment for some lower body maladies. First, he received (somewhat ironically) a short massage from a trainer on what looked to be his lower back or upper thighs. After that, Watson walked away from the medical area and began to fidget with and grab one of his ankles.
The writing on the wall was pretty evident — the "injury" that was going to allow Watson to stay away from the practice field and his teammates once pads went on Tuesday morning would be some sort of ankle or foot injury.
And sure enough, on Tuesday, right on cue...
So, for the first time, perhaps since he was rehabbing his ACL that he tore in November of his rookie season in 2017, Deshaun Watson was absent from a Houston Texans football practice, and the way we all anticipated this divorce between QB and franchise, and this bizarre new era of Texans football, would feel got our first dosage. It didn't taste good at all.
Deshaun Watson reported to training camp to avoid $50,000 daily fines and has a standing trade request as well as a no-trade clause in his $156 million contract. Today, he isn't practicing after having his foot examined yesterday by a trainer. https://t.co/7sBq59H38n— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) August 3, 2021
Sure, likely starting QB Tyrod Taylor had a second straight day of solid (if unspectacular) practice reps, but the two backups — rookie Davis Mills and veteran Jeff Driskel — were a two headed abomination, with Driskel throwing two picks to journeyman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. This came on the heels of a three-pick day by Driskel on Monday, and a five-pick day by Mills on Saturday.
As weird as it was to have Watson around as essentially a zombie spectator version of himself for the first five practice sessions, it was far stranger not having him there at all on Tuesday. It was a stark reminder of the rough road ahead for this team, and the unfamiliarity of so many faces in this camp.
Taylor, Mills, and Driskel have not thrown a single pass in a Texans uniform. The last time the Texans had a camp where they could say that was in 2002, and that was because the Texans themselves hadn't existed before that training camp. If you're looking for reasons why this feels like an expansion team, well, there you go.
I hope everyone at the practice on Monday enjoyed watching Deshaun sit around and watch practice like the rest of us. It's probably the last time you see him in a Texans uniform.
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