Houston Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel has no plans on shutting down star quarterback Deshaun Watson, even though the team officially has been eliminated from postseason contention.
“That question has been asked. My deal is, we’re in this game, we play this game to win and there’s a season to be played,” Crennel said Wednesday. “If you shut down Watson, then should you shut down the rest of the team and everybody pack up and go home for three games left?
“We’re in the NFL and there’s certain rules about playing. I think that probably if you shut down your team and left and didn’t play the games, there’d be a tremendous fine involved. So, we’re going to play the games and try to win as many as we can.”
Watson, 25, has been sacked 11 times over the last two games and 39 times overall this season. Despite those gaudy numbers, Watson isn’t interested in seeing his season come to a premature end based on a decision to preserve his health.
“I know there are a lot of the fans and people looking for the future and things like that, but right now I live in the present,” Watson said. “I want to finish this season out strong. I want to continue to get the reps that I want to get to be able to continue to grow as a quarterback and as a player and as a teammate. Like I said, I just want to continue to finish this season out strong. Of course, safety is always first, but at the same time, I want to finish these three games.”
Watson has thrown for 3,761 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 games this season for the Texans (4-9) who visit the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) on Sunday. His passing yards are second in the NFL to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (4,208).
Watson’s completion percentage (68.9) is the best of his career, while his passing total is approaching his personal-best of 4,165 set in 2018. His touchdown total is one shy of the 26 he amassed in both 2018 and 2019.