Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (who we’re now hearing, unfortunately just tore his ACL in practice and is now reportedly out for the season, yikes) is leading all other NFL rookies in jersey sales, this according to the latest figures out of the official NFL online shop.
Watson, who was considered a rookie of the year favourite by many, and probably even by those at Betway Sports, and his #4 Texans jersey topped the rookie sales list ahead of Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt’s #90 and Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s #10.
Coming in at number four is Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, who Sports Illustrated just last week picked as their rookie of the year favourite on offence, yes even ahead of Watson. Hunt and Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers round out the top five, Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette is sixth and is followed by Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook, Jamal Adams of the Jets, James Conner at number nine is the second Steeler (along with Watt) on this top ten list, and Jabrill Peppers from the Cleveland “Passed on Deshaun” Browns takes the tenth spot.
You can take a full look at the entire top ten list (according to sales on the NFL Shop) below:
2017 Top Selling NFL Rookie Jerseys
1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
2. T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
4. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
5. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
6. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
7. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
8. Jamal Adams, New York Jets
9. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Jabrill Peppers, Cleveland Browns
It’s not much of a surprise that Watson was leading this rookie list, the former Clemson star was well on his way to smashing a whole host of rookie quarterback records including most touchdown passes in a season, a mark currently shared by a couple of forgettable players (who ever heard of Payton Manning and Russell Wilson?). Manning and Wilson both threw 26 touchdowns in their debut seasons, Watson already had 19 – leading the league – and was on pace to break the rookie mark by Thanksgiving, more than a month before the end of the 2017 regular season.
Watson’s injury came while running a toss sweep during a non-contact outdoor practice on Thursday, as Watson wasn’t hit on the play and didn’t seem to be in much pain team officials weren’t expecting the bad news. The final diagnosis was a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the only way to repair the damage is with surgery which will keep him off the field for up to nine months, which obviously takes him out for the remainder of the 2017 season. Watson had previously injured his ACL during his college days but was able to play out the rest of the season with the aid of a knee brace.
It’s always terrible to see such an injury happen particularly to one early on in his rookie season. It’ll be interesting to see if his unfortunate injury ends up hurting sales of Watson’s jersey, or if he can still ride the success of his first year into finishing first overall in rookie sales at the end of December. We’ll keep our eye on it.
Let’s hope Deshaun can heal up and recover in time to come back next season feeling 100%, his recovery time suggests he’ll be ready by July 2018, plenty of time to get back out there for Week One.