J.J. Watt Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt made a stunning admission Sunday afternoon, revealing his heart had been “shocked back into rhythm” Thursday after an incident of atrial fibrillation.

In true warrior fashion, Watt simply concluded with the message, ‘I’m playing today.”

Watt also expressed concern that “somebody leaked some personal information about me and it’s going to be reported on today.”

This raises a lot of questions. It does not mean that Watt suffered a heart attack. AFib is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, affecting some 5 million in the U.S., according to Hopkins Medicine. It is not necessarily life-threatening, but can lead to complications if untreated long term.

This also does not mean that Watt underwent defibrillation — the procedure commonly shown on TV medical dramas. That procedure is used for VFib, a different type of arrhythmia. Watt most likely underwent a common procedure known as cardioversion, which is used to restore normal rhythm.

Watt’s Tweet, coming just before the Sunday afternoon 1 p.m. games, stunned the NFL world.

“This kind of mentality is the hardest thing for non-athletes to understand,” tweeted Ty Schalter of FiveThirtyEight. “Even by elite-athlete standards, though, this *specific* mentality is off-the-charts bananapants.”

Some wondered if Watt were throwing shade at the Tua Tagovailoa situation.

The 1-2 Cardinals play on the road against the Carolina Panthers (also 1-2) Sunday afternoon.

[J.J. Watt; photo of Watt during August training camp from The Arizona Republic, via USA Today Sports]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.