Jacksonville Jaguars rival QB plans to report to training camp

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson plans to report to training camp, how does this impact the Jacksonville Jaguars?

If you look at the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans, you will see two teams trending in opposite directions. On one hand, the Jags hired Urban Meyer as the head coach and have spent the offseason revamping their roster. Heading into the 2021 regular season, there seems to be a plan in place. Meanwhile, the Texans had salary cap restraints and didn’t have enough picks to acquire talent. At least, they got good news about their starting quarterback ahead of training camp.

Deshaun Watson plans to report to training camp Sunday, per Ed Werder of ESPN. He wants to avoid being fined $50,000 for every day he misses. His request to be traded still remains in place though. While a deal could still materialize, it’s unknown if Houston is interested in moving on from him.

Although head coach David Culley and general manager Nick Caserio said the 2017 first-round pick was Texans’ starting quarterback, it’s uncertain what the team plans to do moving forward. Keep in mind he’s facing 23 lawsuits that allege sexual assault and misconduct. There’s the possibility the NFL places him on the Exempt list while they wait for the outcome of the investigation and the league won’t probably do anything before that, per insider Josina Anderson.

How does this news affect the Jacksonville Jaguars?

The Jaguars are set to face off against the Houston Texans in the season opener. If Watson doesn’t dress up for the game, Jacksonville’s chances of winning the game will go up considerably. The Clemson product has faced the Jags seven times in his career and has beaten them six times, completing 131 of 206 passes for 1,475 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

If Watson doesn’t suit up in Week 1, Tyrod Taylor will take his place. The veteran quarterback has a vast amount of experience but there would be a significant dropoff from Watson to him. To make matters worse, the Texans failed to make upgrades to the roster due to their lack of cap space and draft picks and the first and second round. They don’t have much depth behind wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and a David Johnson who is past his prime is their starting running back. On paper, the Jaguars’ defense matches favorably with the Texans’ offense.

Last season, Watson was one of the few bright spots on the Texans’ roster and he played at a high level despite the fact that he didn’t have a good supporting cast. This offseason, Houston kept him out of the loop in the hiring of general manager Nick Caserio even though was assured by owner Cal McNair that he was going to be part of the process. That’s when he requested a trade.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have much more talent than they had at this point last season. Whether Deshaun Watson plays or not, the Jags are in a good position to sweep the Texans in 2021. However, not having to face Watson will give them a better chance to beat Houston twice.

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