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J.J. Watt passes physical to take another step to playing in Texans' opener

J.J. Watt passed his physical on Sunday and will return to practice on Monday, a good sign that he'll be ready for the Houston Texans’ opener against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11. 

Watt missed all of training camp and the Texans' four preseason games after surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in July. 

The Texans activated him from the physically unable to perform list on Saturday before Sunday's announcement that he passed his physical. 

Watt, the NFL's defensive player of the year in three of the past four seasons, hasn't missed a game in his five-year career. 

The defensive end also sat out the entire preseason in 2012 because of an elbow injury and was able to return for the season opener. 

Ravens reach deal with Hester

The Baltimore Ravens and kick returner Devin Hester have reached agreement on a one-year contract. 

Over a 10-year career, Hester has returned 20 kicks for touchdowns, the most in NFL history. Selected to four Pro Bowls, the 33-year-old has played in 144 games with Chicago and Atlanta. 

The Ravens spent much of the preseason trying to find a punt returner. Michael Campanaro and Kennan Reynolds were among those who took back kicks, with unspectacular results. 

Hester has scored an NFL-record 14 touchdowns on punt returns. He has also returned five kickoffs for touchdowns and scored on a 108-yard missed field-goal attempt. 

Also Sunday, the Ravens signed Reynolds to the practice squad. 

Dupree is sidelined

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree will miss at least the first eight weeks of the season to deal with a lingering groin injury that sidelined him during training camp.


The Cincinnati Bengals claimed rookie Jeff Driskel off waivers from San Francisco, giving them a No. 3 quarterback. Driskel, from Louisiana Tech, played in four preseason games for the 49ers and went 15 of 31 for 132 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He started 13 games at Louisiana Tech last season. The move came a day after the Bengals waived Keith Wenning, their third-string quarterback last season. The Bengals also put Pro Bowl special-teams player Cedric Peerman and cornerback William Jackson III — their first-round pick — on injured reserve. ...

The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed linebacker Arthur Brown off waivers from Baltimore and safety Marqueston Huff off waivers from Tennessee. The Jaguars also signed veteran receiver Arrelious Benn to the 53-man roster Sunday. ...

The New York Jets are heading into the first week of the regular season with four tight ends, four quarterbacks — and a handful of new faces. A day after setting its initial 53-man roster, the team claimed four players off waivers on Sunday, including tight ends Braedon Bowman from Jacksonville and Brian Parker from Kansas City, running back Troymaine Pope from Seattle and cornerback Darryl Roberts from New England. The Jets also have veterans Kellen Davis and Brandon Bostick at the tight end spot, so it remains to be seen if all four make it to opening day. New York waived Jace Amaro and Zach Sudfeld on Saturday. ...

The Seattle Seahawks claimed defensive tackle Garrison Smith off waivers. He had 15 tackles and four sacks with San Francisco last season.

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