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J.J. Watt on playing with broken hand: You make do with what you got

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans warms up before playing against the New England Patriots on December 13, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said that he would be able to play against the Patriots despite breaking his left hand during practice last week and he was on the field with a club protecting the injury from the opening snap.

Watt didn’t have his usual impact, however. He finished the night with three tackles and no sacks with his only quarterback hit coming too late for the liking of the officiating crew. Watt received a personal foul for roughing Tom Brady on the first New England touchdown of the night, but was otherwise a non-factor while lining up all over the field in hopes of finding a way to wreak havoc.

After the game, Watt complimented the Patriots’ game plan of keeping multiple sets of eyes and hands on him on every play. He also acknowledged that the injury limited him, although he did his best to downplay that as an excuse for a quiet night.

“It’s not terrible,” Watt said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I wish I had a hand, but I don’t. You make do with what you got. It poses some problems, but it wasn’t that bad. There were times where it was painful, but that’s football. People play with pain all the time.”

Whether the Texans are starting Brian Hoyer or T.J. Yates at quarterback, the Texans are going to need to ride their defense if they’re going to wind up on top of the AFC South when the music stops. Finding a way to get Watt back in gear will be vital to those efforts.