Former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt returned to Lambeau Field for two joint practices with the Packers on Monday and Tuesday. The Texans defensive end said he went to one Packers game and one Packers training camp when he was a kid. The Pewaukee native said it was a dream come true to come back and be a part of the Green Bay tradition.
The Packers open training camp with a unique journey. Players ride kids' bikes to the practice field while the kids carry the players' helmets. Monday, the Packers let the Texans take part in the bike ride, but there was one slight problem. Watt is listed at 6'5," 290 pounds, and his build was too much for a youth bike. Watt broke the seat, but he acted quickly to make things right.
"We have purchased a new bike for the boy. I apologized for that," Watt told reporters with a smile after Monday's practice. "It's one of the coolest traditions, you know. Growing up here, I know how special it is to interact with a player from the Green Bay Packers, as a kid growing up in Wisconsin."
Watt thanked the Packers organization for allowing his teammates to take part in one of the most unique preseason experiences in the NFL. "For them to have that tradition where kids get to be up close and personal with their favorite players, and they get to hold their helmet. I mean, that's what it's all about. Those are the memories those kids are going to have for a lifetime."
Watt left Monday's practice early with what he called a minor groin injury. He said sitting out of the rest of the joint workout was a precautionary measure. Watt also told reporters that he doubts he'll play in Thursday's preseason opener. Kickoff is set for 7 P.M. at Lambeau Field.