The outlook for the rest of the 2021 NFL season was looking bleak for former all-pro defensive lineman J.J Watt, but it appears that he has made a huge step in a possible return for the Arizona Cardinals playoff run.
It was announced this morning that Watt has been designated to return from the Injured Reserve list in a shocking move that could greatly help the Cardinals down the stretch.
The Cardinals have designated DL JJ Watt to return from IR. Huge.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 7, 2022
It was believed that Watt was going to be done for the season after tearing his labrum, bicep, and rotator cuff in the Cardinals Week 7 matchup against the Houston Texans.
While it’s not official that he will be active for the playoffs, this is a huge step in a potential return for Watt. Ian Rapoport has reported that Watt plans to return to the field for the Cardinals’ first playoff game.
While it seemed impossible at the time of his surgeries, JJ Watt is actually planning to return to the field during the first week of the playoffs. It’s not for sure yet, but it is possible. Would be an incredible recovery for the star. https://t.co/P9xGMOCqJS
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2022
Many were shocked to hear that Watt could be ready to go as soon as the first playoff game for the Arizona Cardinals.
Oh wow. https://t.co/wSjUpX8sPb
— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) January 7, 2022
This is huge for Arizonas defense. A lot of their issues in the run game are fixed by having JJ Watt back on the field, and they’ll need him in the playoffs https://t.co/HlyryBM4GH
— JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp) January 7, 2022
This would be a big addition heading into the playoffs. Watt’s presence would go a long way in stopping the run against teams like S.F, LAR and Dallas in the playoffs. https://t.co/zablVAwjj0
— Brentley Weissman (@Brentley12) January 7, 2022
Watt is no stranger to making heroic returns in his career when he was counted out. Watt returned for the Houston Texans playoff game in 2019 after a torn pectoral when he was not expected to be ready until the 2020 season.
“I’m sitting there and I can easily pout and easily say, ‘Woe is me, four-to-six months, I’ll do what I have to do,’ ” Watt said on his original injury diagnosis of a 4-6 month recovery date. “But instead I said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to accept that.’ ”
The Cardinals currently sit at the number 5 seed in the NFC, and it is guaranteed that they will be playing in Wild Card weekend, so they could certainly use Watt going forward.