Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans’ key to contending next season is not primarily about who the team plans to add during the offseason. Instead, it’s all about the team getting its two best players back from injury.

Defensive end J.J. Watt recently shared an update on his rehab from a fractured tibial plateau in his left leg that cost him the final 11 games of last season. It’s pretty darn encouraging.

It now looks like fellow injured star Deshaun Watson is ahead of schedule as he rehabs from a torn ACL he suffered back in late October.

“He’s (Watson) working hard to get back and I know he’s ahead of schedule,” head coach Bill O’Brien said, via ESPN. “I’m hoping … that he can at least maybe participate in 7-on-7 (drills). Maybe not team drills, but (maybe) he can do 7-on-7s or one-on-ones and things like that. But we’ll see.”

Mere months after suffering the devastating knee injury, the Texans are already talking about getting Watson back in the mix for organized team activities. That’s pretty darn awesome stuff right there.

Watson was downright electric in his limited action as a rookie quarterback for the Texans this past regular season. He accounted for nearly 2,000 total yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games (six starts). Houston boasted a 3-3 record in Watson’s six starts, posting a 1-9 mark when he wasn’t under center.

Coming off a four-win season, it may seem like the Texans are ways away from contention in the AFC South. But it just seems that way. Watson’s importance to the team is on par with other top-flight young quarterbacks in the NFL. If he can get any off-season work in while returning from the ACL injury, it will be music to the ears of the Texans’ brass.

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This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

PLAYERS: Deshaun Watson
TEAMS: Houston Texans
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