Deshaun Watson OK to fly with Texans, coach Bill O'Brien says

HOUSTON -- When the Texans fly to Denver for their Week 9 game against the Denver Broncos, Deshaun Watson will be onboard.

When the Texans depart for Denver, it will have been two weeks since Houston's second-year quarterback had to take a bus more than 800 miles from Houston to Jacksonville. On Monday, coach Bill O'Brien confirmed that the having the quarterback fly is no longer a concern, and Watson will travel with the rest of the team.

Watson injured his ribs and lung in the Texans' Week 5 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but he has not missed a game since then. In the Texans' Week 8 victory over the Dolphins on Thursday, Watson completed 16 of 20 passes for five touchdowns. He did not throw an interception.

O'Brien was asked whether the team was worried about Watson playing in the high altitude of Denver given the concerns about the air pressure on the plane two weeks ago. He said it's something he, team doctor Geoff Kaplan and director of sports performance Luke Richesson are discussing.

"I think the altitude is a factor for everybody, whether you're injured or not," O'Brien said. "So I think that's something that we're talking about relative to preparing for that.

"We get there Saturday, we play Sunday. I'm not sure of an effect it will have. But that's something we're talking about with all the resources we have here. So I think that's really a factor for everybody."

The Texans' offensive line has done a better job protecting Watson in their past two wins, over the Jaguars and Dolphins, but he has still been sacked 26 times and hit 76 times this season.