But don't expect the dual-threat Watson to adjust how he plays the game and attacks defenses, especially whenever the Texans are near the goal line.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson found himself on the receiving end of multiple cringe-worthy hits throughout Sunday night's 19-16 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys.
On the game, the Cowboys were credited with 10 quarterback hits, including five recorded by defensive tackle Daniel Ross. Through five games, opposing defenses have combined to record an attention-grabbing 54 hits on the Texans quarterback, an average of 10.8 blows per game.
The Texans don't want to see the franchise signal-caller absorb the punishment he has endured through five games. But the coaching staff also understands there is a balancing act between curtailing Watson's skill set and allowing him to do what he feels is best whenever the pocket collapses.
Bill O'Brien on Deshaun Watson taking hits: 'He's a great competitor. There will be times when he makes the decision to slide or get out of bounds. Those are plays we want to cut down on. That's not a sustainable way to play.'
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Watson has also been sacked 18 times on the season, a total that is tied with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for the second-most in the league behind Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (19).
"That's my mentality, so regardless of what I've got to do -- if its three dudes like it was tonight multiple times -- I'm going to try to fight my ass off to get in the end zone and that's my mentality. Whatever it takes. I'm built to take those hits, and I'm just going to give all my will and my guts and try to get the ball in the end zone."
"For me, I just try to do what's best for the team," Watson told reporters after the game, via the Texans' official website. "And I know sometimes what's best for the team is protecting myself, but when we're down there at the goal line, I'm trying to get in the end zone.
O'Brien reiterated the need to eliminate those kinds of plays from Watson's playbook on Monday.
"We've got to do a better job of making sure that maybe he doesn't take as many, and at the same time, it's a fine line area because that's part of his game," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "That's part of his game, and that's the way he plays the game. He enjoys that part of the game, to be honest with you. So, I think it's something that we continue to coach, and obviously we don't want an abundance of him getting hit, obviously, but sometimes it does happen."
Nevertheless, Watson is at his best when he can create out of the backfield and his 201 yards rushing leads all quarterbacks.