J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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J.J. Watt was ruled out for Week 8 against the Packers but his shoulder injury could be much worse than previously expected.
With the Packers already dealing with a litany of absences for Week 8 against the Arizona Cardinals, it was a bit of a shock when the latter announced on Wednesday that prized free-agent signing J.J. Watt would be out for Thursday Night Football.
But he might not just be out for Thursday’s game against Green Bay.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Watt played the entire second half last week with the shoulder injury but it will require surgery. The recovery timetable would be about three months, likely ending the veteran defensive star’s 2021 season:
#AZCardinals DE JJ Watt played the entire second half last week… and now needs shoulder surgery, source said. The recovery is likely at least three months, which may knock him out for the season. A tough situation for the veteran.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2021
JJ Watt injury could keep Cardinals DL out for the season
Watt was part of the high-profile offseason for Arizona that included big-name additions like the defensive lineman, center Rodney Hudson, wide receiver A.J. Green, and more.
Adding Watt to the defense has been huge for the Cardinals on that side of the ball. He’s maintained integrity on the line that hasn’t been there all that often in recent years and, when Chandler Jones has been available, has paved the way for the star edge rusher to thrive.
Should the veteran miss the rest of the season, that’s a tough, tough blow for the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL and a player they can ill-afford to be without. That might push them to make a move to replace him at the trade deadline.