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Arizona Cardinals’ J.J. Watt says he’s won’t be facing same Texans ‘I remember’ on Sunday

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TEMPE, Ariz. — When Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt looks across the line of scrimmage this Sunday and sees the Houston Texans‘ uniforms and helmets, he’ll be reminded of the memories made during 10 seasons with his former team, the playoff games won and AFC South division banners hanging inside NRG Stadium.

But that’s where the emotion of facing the only team he played for until this season will end.

“There’s obviously something more to it,” Watt said Thursday. “I don’t think that it’s what people may think it is because, I mean, you look at the roster and you look at the guys that are there, I mean it’s been so massively turned over that there’s only a handful of guys that are even there from last year that I played with.

“So, it’s not like, I’m like, ‘Oh, I want to go and beat my old team’ or ‘Oh, I can’t wait to face this guy,’ because it’s not the same team. It’s not the same organization that I remember and that I was a part of.”

That’s a large part of why Watt asked for his release from Houston back in February, he told the Houston media during a conference call Thursday morning. Watt said he expected Houston’s roster to be turned over like it has as well as the lack of success that’s resulted from it.

He barely recognizes the roster anymore, he said.

“There’s so many guys I don’t know,” Watt said.

After 10 seasons, four division championships, helping the franchise win its first playoff game all while winning three Defensive Player of the Year awards and being named the 2017 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, it pains Watt to see the Texans in this current state of disrepair.

“That’s why it hurts me to see where it is now, because I believe those fans deserve to be living those high times and to be experiencing those great moments and it hurts to know that they’re not, and to know that they’re struggling,” Watt said. “So, I hope that they get back there at some point and I hope that they get to do that because I know firsthand it’s an unbelievable place to play when you’re rolling.”

Watt said once the game starts Sunday, it’ll be just like any other game as the Cardinals look to improve on their 6-0 record with a short week coming up before hosting the Green Bay Packers on “Thursday Night Football.”

Watt hasn’t parted ways with all his “thousands of pieces” of Texans gear, and it sounds like he probably won’t. However, he estimated, with a smile, that about half of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, his hometown, may be dressed in Texans clothing. That’s starting to change to Cardinals red, he added.

“I mean there’s 10 years of my life and there’s 10 years of relationships,” Watt said, “so it’s not like I just chucked all my Houston stuff.”

And, yes, Watt said he has “a couple of big friends” who fit into his clothes.

Seeing the Texans’ blue, white and red uniform across from him Sunday at State Farm Stadium will be different, Watt said — just like studying film all week has been.

“When I turn on the film this week and I watch the games and you’re looking at NRG Stadium, for 10 years, I’ve looked at that film and I’ve been watching the team in blue and white,” Watt said. “And now I’m watching it from the other perspective and I’m studying those guys, so it is, it’s definitely different. “But I don’t think I’m going to forget which guy I’m supposed to tackle, if that’s what you’re asking.”

ESPN Texans reporter Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles Chargers put leading WR Keenan Allen on reserve/COVID-19 list

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Los Angeles Chargers leading receiver Keenan Allen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, putting his availability for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in doubt.

Allen was one of 11 players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by teams on Monday. All were the result of positive tests, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Allen, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the past four seasons, leads the Chargers with 929 receiving yards this season and has four touchdown receptions.

If Allen is vaccinated, he will need two negative tests 24 hours apart and be asymptomatic for 48 hours before he can return. If he is unvaccinated, Allen will have to stay away from the team for a minimum of 10 days.

The Chargers improved to 7-5 with their 41-22 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, a game in which Allen had two touchdown receptions.

Los Angeles is currently in second place in the AFC West standings.

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Cleveland Browns star defensive end Bill Glass dead at 86

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CLEVELAND — Bill Glass, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end with Cleveland and member of the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship team, has died. He was 86.

The Browns said Glass died Sunday night surrounded by family at his home in Waxahachie, Texas. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Glass spent seven seasons with the Browns, who acquired him from the Detroit Lions as part of the trade involving quarterback Milt Plum.

An All-American offensive guard at Baylor, Glass switched to defense when he began his pro career in 1957 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. A year later he joined the Lions, who had drafted him with the No. 12 overall pick.

Glass spent four seasons with Detroit before going to Cleveland, where he became a star. He was credited with 16½ sacks in 1965, back when they were not recognized as an official stat by the league.

Glass finished with 87½ sacks, getting 77½ in his seven seasons with the Browns. He retired after the 1968 season and was inducted into the Browns Legends program in 2007.

After he retired, Glass, who was born in Texarkana, Texas, started his own ministry, Bill Glass Behind the Walls, working extensively with helping reform prisoners.

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Baltimore Ravens lose star CB Marlon Humphrey for rest of season because of torn pectoral muscle

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey was diagnosed with a season-ending, right pectoral muscle tear on Monday, perhaps the biggest loss in a season filled with injuries for the Baltimore Ravens.

Humphrey, 25, became the seventh starter (and third in the secondary) to get sidelined for the season for the Ravens (8-4), who cling to first place in the AFC North by one game. He was injured in Sunday’s 20-19 loss in Pittsburgh to the Steelers when he tried to tackle Diontae Johnson before the wide receiver scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

The loss of Humphrey is not only the latest blow, but perhaps also the most devastating one. A two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, Humphrey is the Ravens’ most talented defender, who can match up against the opposition’s top wide receiver and rip the ball away with his physical play. Since being the No. 16 overall pick in 2017, he is one of two NFL players with at least 50 passes broken up and 10 forced fumbles (safety Logan Ryan is the other).

Injuries have depleted a Baltimore team that has reached the playoffs the past three seasons. After Humphrey is placed on injured reserve, the Ravens will have $44.3 million of their salary cap on IR — which accounts for 25% of their cap.

Three of Baltimore’s players with the five biggest cap hits — offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley ($10.042 million), cornerback Marcus Peters ($9.968 million) and Humphrey ($8.44 million) — have suffered season-ending injuries. Overall, the Ravens have lost 11 players who will make more than $800,000 this season.

Baltimore has placed at least one player on injured reserve in four of the past five weeks. The Ravens’ total number of players on injured reserve will increase to 17 when Humphrey is added.

“I mean, we’ve got a lot of injuries, so we’ve been dealing with stress all season, and we’ve still been able to overcome it,” Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams said after Sunday’s game. “So, that’s what we plan on doing. It’s a ‘next man up’ mentality, so the show must go on. We pray that Marlon [Humphrey] makes it back. We pray that everybody who is down right now gets healed up, but we still have games to play. Next week, we have the [Cleveland] Browns, so we have to focus on that.”

With Humphrey out, the Ravens are expected to start Chris Westry in his spot, if he’s healthy. Westry was inactive Sunday with a thigh injury. Last week, all five cornerbacks on the 53-man roster missed at least one practice because of an injury or illness.

Through 11 games, the Ravens have lost three starters to season-ending injuries in the secondary: Humphrey, Peters (torn ACL) and safety DeShon Elliott (torn biceps). Strong safety Chuck Clark is the only remaining starter in the secondary from the beginning of the season.

Baltimore is allowing 272.4 yards passing (second-worst in the NFL). The Ravens finish the season against three top-10 rated quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow.

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