When Houston Texans‘ star JJ Watt proposed to girlfriend Kealia Ohai back in May, he was still looking ahead to having a record year during the 2019 NFL season. However, the 29-year-old MVP defensive player suffered a torn pectoral muscle on October 27, which required immediate surgery to repair. Many believed, including Watt, that his season was over.
As Houston prepares to take on the Buffalo Bills for the AFC Wild Card game on Saturday, it was a huge surprise for many when head coach Bill O’Brien announced that Watt, 30, would be coming off the injured reserve to help his team in their playoff run.
O’Brien said that fans can expect him to play “quite a bit” on January 4, which means fans can also expect to see Ohai cheering Watt on at NRG Stadium on game day. While a torn chest muscle would typically sideline an athlete four months, Watt’s quick comeback is considered nothing short of “superhuman” as reported by the Houston Chronicle, and Ohai deserves at least some of the credit for keeping the defensive end’s spirits up while he was sidelined.
During the eight games Watt wasn’t able to join his team on the field, the 6’5 athlete kept up with social media, posting pictures on Instagram to his 3.8 million followers. If he wasn’t sharing pictures about football and his charitable efforts, they were pictures of Ohai, who plays soccer for the Houston Dash, and always accompanied these posts with positive and uplifting captions.
It’s clear the Watt is absolutely in love with his fiancée, and having her around to support him during his recovery seemed to work wonders. When he posted pictures of himself working out, Ohai kept things light by commenting, “You are so cute.”
Instead of wallowing in frustration and self-doubt, Watt shared flirty posts of Ohai. The NFL star seems to still be shocked she even agreed to marry him. After Ohai posted an ad for Blink Fitness, he reposted the photo on his own paged with the caption, “Sheeeeshh!” and three heart-eyed emojis.
Watt & Ohai Kept Their Relationship A Secret For Over A Year
According to People, the couple met through Watt’s former teammate Brian Cushing who is married to Ohai’s sister, Megan Ohai Cushing. Ohai and Watt are believed to have started dating in 2016 but did not go public with their relationship until January 2017.
Watt told People that February 2017, “She’s awesome. We just went to Mexico for her birthday and the whole weekend was competition — whether it was ping pong or the weight room. She’s extremely competitive which is a ton of fun. She’s incredible.”
As for why they waited over a year to confirm their relationship Watt said, “There’s a little bit of that cat and mouse game where everyone wants a photo of us and wants us to confirm it. And I was like, all right, I’ll do it so now we can enjoy ourselves and live happily. And it’s been great.”
Flash forward two years to February 2019, Watt and Ohai continued to share their love with fans while on vacation in Laguna Beach, California. The NFL gave photo credit to his brother, T.J. Watt, who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.