Watt underwent back surgery in late July, and sat out the preseason. He returned to play each of the Texans' first three regular-season games, but NFL.com reported he was hurt Thursday in Houston's loss to the New England Patriots.
A move to short-term injured reserve would keep Watt out of practice for six weeks, with a chance to return to action in eight weeks for a Nov. 27 game against the San Diego Chargers, ESPN.com reported.
Watt, 27, managed only eight tackles and 1 1/2 sacks through three weeks this season. It was a significant drop-off from last season, when he recorded 17 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles en route to his third Defensive Player of the Year honor. He also captured the award in 2012 and 2014, finishing with 20 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles each year.
Watt, Houston's 2011 first-round pick (11th overall) out of Wisconsin, has 76 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and one interception in 83 games, all starts. He has never missed a regular-season game.
According to NFL.com, Watt's rate of 0.92 sacks per game is higher than any other player since the stat was first established in 1982.