The Houston Texans could soon be hearing from the NFL, after one of their star players admitted the team let him play with a dangerous infection.
Injured Texans' defensive end J.J.Watt opened up about his numerous injuries in a piece by The Players' Tribune. Over the past year, Watt has suffered a broken hand, two torn abs, three torn adductor muscles and one herniated disc injured twice in the same year. Despite all of these ailments, Watt admits it was a staph infection that most concerned him.
“One Friday night last season, I noticed some weird bumps on my knee,” Watt writes. “I thought it was a rash, so I went and asked our trainer if he had any cream. He looked at my knee and said, ‘That looks really bad. We have to get you to the hospital right now.”
Watt initially thought the trainer was joking.
“I could see in his face that he was serious and actually a bit panicked,” Watt explains. “As it turned out, he saved me in a big way. At the hospital, they immediately put me on three hours of the strongest antibiotic IVs. I went straight from the hospital to the team plane and we flew to Jacksonville. Once we landed, there were two more hours of antibiotics that night and two more the next morning before the game. The medicine had completely drained me, but I played — and we won.”
"Once we landed, there were two more hours of antibiotics that night and two more the next morning before the game. The medicine had completely drained me, but I played — and we won.
I remember walking into the locker room after the game and just collapsing on the training table. My body was completely shot, with nothing left to give. As the trainers hooked me up to an IV, one of the guys walking past joked, “You alive?” Later that day on the flight back to Houston, one of the team doctors told me that if our trainer hadn’t recognized the problem so quickly, I could have lost my leg."
The Texans elected to declare Watt as questionable with an illness the day prior to the game. It is possible the team chose to classify the injury in this manner due to the liability issues associated with staph.
Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, which is a contagious type of bacteria found in locker rooms. It can infect the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart and can become life-threatening if not properly diagnosed. Possibly the scariest trait of a staph infection is that some infections no longer respond to common antibiotics.
Don't be surprised if the NFL's head office makes contact with the Texans after they allowed Watt to play with this dangerous infection.
Source: The Players' Tribune · Photo Credit: The Football Feed