Skip to content

J.J. Watt: 'I'll be there' if Texans need me in 2024

Jamie Sabau / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Former Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is keeping the door open to return to the football field in 2024.

"I told (head coach DeMeco Ryans) last year, I said, 'Don't call unless you absolutely need it, but if you ever do call, I'll be there.' And he knows not to call unless he absolutely needs it," Watt told Brandon Scott of SportsRadio 610 on Saturday.

The 35-year-old added that this is the last season he'll leave the offer on the table for the Texans, saying he's a "very fortunate and lucky man" to have walked away healthy after a 12-year career.

"This is the last year I'll tell him that because I'm not going to keep training the way I've been training. But he knows that if he ever truly does need it, I'll be there for him," said Watt, who retired after the 2022 season. "But I don't anticipate that happening. They've got a very good crew."

Houston finished the 2023 campaign with a 10-7 record, winning the AFC South. The club trounced the Cleveland Browns 45-14 in the wild-card round but lost 34-10 to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round.

The Texans surpassed preseason expectations last year, largely due to quarterback C.J. Stroud and pass-rusher Will Anderson Jr., the respective offensive and defensive rookies of the year.

But Watt said he's hoping he doesn't get called and can instead "watch and enjoy from the couch."

"I very much don't want (to be needed)," he said. "I hope that everybody stays extremely healthy, and they dominate, and they don't need any other bodies."

Watt spent 10 seasons with the Texans, earning three Defensive Player of the Year awards, five first-team All-Pro nods, and five Pro Bowl honors. His 101 sacks are the most in franchise history by a wide margin, with Whitney Mercilus' 57 and Mario Williams' 53 ranking second and third, respectively.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox