Houston Texans star J.J. Watt had a lot of fun riding into practice on Monday — that is until he broke his means of transportation.

The Texans and Green Bay Packers held a joint practice in Green Bay, which allowed Watt to take part in a longstanding Packers tradition of players riding a child's bike to practice.

It was something Watt said he has dreamed about since he was a kid growing up in Wisconsin.

However, breaking the bike probably was not part of that dream. 

Watt did not last long on the child-sized bike.

"It was pretty awesome until I broke the bike," Watt told media after practice. "The bike I was using wasn't equipped for a 290-pound man and the seat broke off. We have purchased a new bike for the boy. I apologise for that.

"It's one of the coolest traditions."

Watt did not hesitate to choose which bike he would ride. He picked the first kid in line despite the fact he was wearing a Packers jersey.

"I mean, I can't walk past a kid," Watt said. "That's hard. He had a [Aaron] Rodgers jersey on, which is fine. I respect it. I support loyalty. The welcome and reception I've gotten since I got back here, to see people wearing my jersey, it's pretty crazy."

He eventually upgraded to larger sized wheels to the fans' enjoyment.

"It's one of the coolest traditions," Watt said. "Growing up here, I know how special it is to get to interact with a player from the Green Bay Packers. For them to have that tradition, where kids get to be up close and personal with their favourite players and they get to hold their helmet.

"I mean, that's what it's all about. Those are the memories that those kids are going to have for a lifetime. For me to be able to participate in it as a player was cool."

There was plenty of news coming out of NFL training camps on Thursday.

A Pro Bowl player surprisingly came out of retirement, while a star quarterback addressed his recovery from a major shoulder injury.

That and more in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Kalil ends retirement, signs with Jets

That did not last long. Ryan Kalil said he was retiring after 2018 but announced on Thursday he was returning to the field and signing with the New York Jets. The center spent his first 12 seasons with the Carolina Panthers and made five Pro Bowls during his time with the team. He should provide a big boost to New York's offensive line, which is tasked with protecting second-year quarterback Sam Darnold.

Newton's recovery a 'work in progress'

Cam Newton struggled with a shoulder injury throughout most of 2018 and he underwent offseason surgery in January. Newton, who seems to be on track to start for the Panthers in week one against the Los Angeles Rams, met with the media for the first time during training camp on Thursday. Newton said his recovery continues to be a "work in progress" but he is feeling "good".

Cooper weighs in on Thomas' new contract

Dallas Cowboys star Amari Cooper is entering the final year of his contract and he could be in line to receive a similar deal to the five-year, $100million extension Michael Thomas signed with the New Orleans Saints this week. Cooper was asked about Thomas' new deal and replied: "It was a big contract. Good for him. … I don't know [if it will impact me]. Hopefully."

He added: "I'm just not interested about the contract. For some reason it's just not on my mind. I'm more interested in just playing football."

Two things that don't matter

Jaguars' Williams out with meniscus tear

Linebacker Quincy Williams, the Jacksonville Jaguars' third-round pick in 2019, tore the meniscus in his right knee and will miss four to six weeks. Williams, however, is not expected to miss much regular-season action and could be healthy for week one against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bears QB Trubisky entertained by MVP talk

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky probably will not be the MVP, however, that has not stopped some from speculating he might be in the conversation. Trubisky, who was the most popular MVP futures bet in early July according to Caesar's palace, told NFL.com: "It's funny. All the people betting on me to win in Vegas, it's just good odds. So, why not? If it happens, the payout is great. If not, you don't lose that much."

One video you have to see

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry makes a nice catch over his defender's helmet in practice.

Thursday tweet of the day

JJ Watt continues to show he is a stand-up person.

The Houston Texans will be without two of their stars at the start of training camp this week after placing J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list

Watt and Hopkins can be activated by Houston at any time, and both are expected to begin practicing soon and be ready in time for the regular season opener on September 9.

Five-time Pro Bowler Watt, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in January, practiced throughout the offseason and said he "felt great".

After featuring in just eight games over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Watt played and started all 16 games last year. He recorded 16 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

Hopkins did not participate in OTAs and was bothered by nagging foot and shoulder injuries last season. 

He caught 115 passes for 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Texans went 11-5 and won the AFC South. Houston went on to lose to the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, with Hopkins sustaining the injury to his shoulder.

NFL star J.J. Watt may not yet have a Super Bowl ring but he will soon have a wedding band on his finger.

The Houston Texans defensive end took to Twitter to announce his engagement to professional soccer star Kealia Ohai, accompanied by several photos of the happy couple.

Sharing the news with his followers, Watt posted: "I'm the luckiest man in the world. #SheSaidYes."

Ohai, 27, who plays for the NWSL's Houston Dash and has been a member of the U.S. Women's National Team also shared the news via Twitter, saying: "I love you @JJWatt."

The couple have been dating since 2016. Ohai is the sister-in-law of former Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, now an assistant coach with the team.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been named the grand marshal of the 2019 Daytona 500, NASCAR announced on Monday.

Watt is the first NFL player to serve as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race, scheduled for Sunday.

"I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as grand marshal for this year's 'Great American Race'," Watt said in a statement.

"The Daytona 500 is a truly iconic event with a rich history, and I am very much looking forward to taking in the action up close and personal this year."

Watt will tell the drivers to start their engines for the 61st Daytona 500. His charity work, which includes the $41million he helped raise for Hurricane Harvey relief, was a large factor in why he was selected as the 2019 grand marshal.

"We're ecstatic to have a person who has shown to be not only an incredible athlete, but also somebody who has done so much for communities in need," Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile said. "J.J. is one of the best players currently in the NFL and now he's going to be our grand marshal for 'The Great American Race.' It's a spectacular pairing."

Watt will be front and center as Hendrick Motorsport team-mates William Byron and Alex Bowman, the reigning Daytona 500 pole winner, will start from the front row of this year's race.

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt is planning to be on the field against for the NFL playoff showdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

Texans defensive end Watt suffered a right elbow injury in Houston's 20-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

Watt, however, told reporters on Tuesday he expects to face the Colts in Saturday's wildcard matchup.

"It's doing OK," Watt said, via the Houston Chronicle. "It'll be fine by Saturday."

Watt underwent X-rays, which came back negative, earlier this week.

"It's playoff football now,' Watt said, via KHOU11. "It doesn't matter. You can cut it off. I'll still play."

Watt appeared in all 16 regular-season games for the Texans this campaign. He tallied 61 total tackles and led the AFC with 16 sacks.

The five-time Pro-Bowl player also registered an NFL-high seven forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

J.J. Watt dedicated the Houston Texans' victory over the Tennessee Titans to the franchise's late founder and owner Bob McNair, who passed away on Friday.

Following a long battle with cancer, McNair died last week at the age of 81.

Three days later, the Texans made it eight straight wins to improve to 8-3 on the season with a 34-17 success at NRG Stadium and veteran defensive end Watt declared that the win was for McNair.

"All he wanted for Houston was a winner," Watt told ESPN. "All he wanted for us every week was a winner, and tonight that was for him.

"We're glad we could get one in his stadium, in his building, and I believe he was watching. So that one was for you, Mr. McNair."

Texans coach Bill O'Brien echoed Watt's sentiment and presented Cal McNair, Bob's son and the team's chairman and chief operating officer, with the game ball.

"We had a great man who owned this team, who founded this team," O'Brien told his players after the game.

"Bob McNair passed away, and that game right there is Houston Texans football right there. And that was for Bob McNair."

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