Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson said a costly sack called by an official in Sunday's game was made because the referee was looking after the player's health.

Watson appeared to throw a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins that would have given Houston a lead over the Indianapolis Colts, but referee Tony Corrente's crew instead blew the play dead when they ruled that Watson was in the grasp and had been sacked.

Instead of scoring on third down from the 4-yard line and taking a would-be 10-7 lead, the Texans were forced to kick a field goal and still trailed 7-6. Indianapolis won the game 30-23 and moved past Houston for first place in the AFC South.

"I went back and forth with the ref. He said that I was down," Watson told reporters after the game. "I don't -- If you watch the tape of all the plays that I extend and make plays, especially in the red zone. I mean, he said he was trying to protect my health, so it goes back and forth. But hey, that's the call he made. We have to live with it."

The third-year quarterback went 23 of 34 passing in the game for 308 yards, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. He is 140 of 201 for 1,644 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions on the season.

Houston (4-3) hosts the Oakland Raiders next Sunday.

--Field Level Media

Comment about texans qb watson ref said he was protecting me on key sack