Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is opening up about a staph infection that nearly ended his NFL career and almost his life.
The three-time defensive player of the year is no stranger to injuries and setbacks. During the 2015 season alone, Watt suffered a broken hand, two torn abs, three torn adductor muscles and herniated discs.
But the four-time all-pro told The Players’ Tribune, “The scariest was probably the staph infection.”
In October 2015, Watt told his trainer about bumps he noticed on his knee. Watt was then rushed him to the hospital for antibiotic treatment.
Watt said “team doctors told me that if our trainer hadn’t recognized the problem so quickly, I could have lost my leg.”
ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser said, “Staph infections are spread among teams very easily. They’re spread through contact, also spread in the locker room through surfaces people can sit on, through razors, through sharing towels.”
Concerns are growing in the football world, especially after the outbreak in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ locker room that led to three players who contracted staph infections.
Lawrence Tynes, a former placekicker for the Buccaneers, said, “This infection is [was] just eating me up inside. It can kill you.”
Also in 2015, New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells almost had his foot amputated because of a staph infection.
Luckily for Watt, this infection did not get the better of him and won’t keep him down.
“The kid in me is back,” he said. “Am I done? Hell, no. I’m just getting started.”
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