HOUSTON — J.J. Watt never doubted he’d play in Houston’s season opener while recovering from back surgery that forced him to miss all of training camp.

Watt returned to practice this week and will be on the field when the Texans host the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He had been out since surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back in July.

Last year’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who has never missed a game in his career, was asked Wednesday what he expects to contribute on Sunday.

“Anything and everything I’m asked,” he said. “I feel great. I feel no limitations whatsoever. My body actually feels better than it did for the second half of last season, obviously with everything we were dealing with. So I’m in a pretty good spot.”

Coach Bill O’Brien said Watt has looked good in practice this week and that they’ll increase his workload every day heading into Sunday’s game.

Watt’s back surgery was his second of the offseason after he had a much more involved procedure in January to repair five torn muscles in his core.

“Both of my lower abs had to be reattached,” he said. “My right adductor had to be reattached and then two of my left adductors had to be reattached. I don’t know the technical terms. A few of them were off the bone. A few of them were partially torn. That was pretty serious stuff.”

Watt’s comeback from back surgery seemed like a breeze after the weeks of painful rehabilitation following his procedure in January. It was then, while recuperating in a hotel in Philadelphia that he became discouraged and wondered about his future in the NFL.

“After the first surgery there were some days there where I really questioned whether or not I’d ever be able to play again,” he said. “Just some of the stuff we were dealing with from a rehab standpoint, just the way that the recovery was going early on … there was a very low point there and it was tough.”

BILLS: Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is appealing the NFL’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy after testing positive for marijuana, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person said Henderson’s appeal is based on his using marijuana for medicinal purposes to relieve the effects of Crohn’s disease. Henderson was diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease late last year, and has since had two operations on his intestines. The first operation occurred in January, when doctors removed a section of diseased tissue. In April, he had surgery to have his intestine reattached.

Several studies have found marijuana can be an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease. In New York, the state’s medical marijuana program specifically lists patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease as potentially eligible to obtain medical marijuana.

ESPN.com first reported Henderson was facing a suspension.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league has no comment.

VIKINGS: Coach Mike Zimmer declined to announce a starter for Sunday’s game against Tennessee, saying he will see how veteran backup Shaun Hill and recently acquired Sam Bradford perform in practice this week before making a decision. And even after he does decide, the coach said he would not reveal the answer until just before kickoff.

“I thought we’d run the single wing this week,” Zimmer deadpanned, alluding to a long outdated offensive scheme that relies solely on running the ball.

Bradford was acquired for a first- and fourth-round draft picks on Saturday in a trade with Philadelphia after starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a major knee injury in practice last week.

SAINTS: Quarterback Drew Brees agreed to a contract extension and a person familiar with the deal said it will keep Brees in New Orleans through at least 2017 and guarantee him $44.3 million. The team did not announce details of the contract Wednesday.

The extension, which runs five seasons and includes a no-trade clause, substantially reduces the amount that Brees counts toward the salary cap this season.

The last three years of the deal are voidable.

BRONCOS: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract extension that runs through 2019. Sanders has 177 catches for 2,529 yards and 15 touchdowns in two seasons with Denver.

BEARS: Chicago signed three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long to a four-year contract extension through the 2021 season.

CHARGERS: Defensive end Joey Bosa didn’t participate in practice because of what appears to be an injury to his left leg, and indications are the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft won’t play in the opener Sunday against the Chiefs.

“Only time will tell because I’m not going to tell you,” Coach Mike McCoy said.

OBITUARY: Former Indianapolis Colts and Oklahoma State kicker Cary Blanchard died Tuesday at age 47.

Mindi Blanchard confirmed her ex-husband’s death. She said Cary passed away unexpectedly of what she believes was a massive heart attack.

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