Deshaun Watson not bothered by joint practice hit that knocked him down

Mike Florio

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers emerged from two days of joint practices with the Texans by speaking out against the practice of joint practices. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has even more reason to not like practicing against anyone other than his own teammates.

The Packers’ defense knocked Watson down at one point during Tuesday’s joint practice. After the joint practice, Watson was asked whether he was bothered by the violation of the ubiquitous red-jersey rule.

“No,” Watson told reporters. “I was not.”

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Coach Bill O’Brien likewise seemed to shrug at the violation of football-practice etiquette.

“He’s a tough kid,” O’Brien told reporters when asked whether he held his breath after Watson hit the deck. “He’s a tough guy. He bounced right back up. He’s fine.”

He bounced right back up that time, but the reason for protecting quarterbacks from practice contact is that it only takes on fluke hit to inflict serious injury. And it’s far easier to enforce that rule against your own players than against the players of a team you don’t coach.

Joint practices include inherently reduced accountability. They include increased possibility of fisticuffs. And Rodgers is absolutely right to not like them, even if saying so could make some continue to question whether he’s on the same page with the man who arranged them on behalf of the Packers.

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