NFL fans are being given a treat this year with three days of Wild Card playoff football.
The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams represent the sixth and final game of the round and storylines abound in this matchup.
One of the top stories all week leading up to the game had to do with the status of J.J. Watt.
Would he be able to play after returning from midseason shoulder surgery?
It appears he is ready to go as he has officially been activated by the team.
We have activated DL J.J. Watt from injured reserve to our active roster. pic.twitter.com/ulwrakkNlE
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 17, 2022
This should serve as a huge boost and is another aspect the Rams have to worry about when on offense.
The entire NFL world is reacting in a variety of ways to the news that Watt is officially back.
Hooray, a night full of J.J. Watt fanboy commentary. pic.twitter.com/WjHvWdCqmS
— Brian Drake (@DrakeFantasy) January 17, 2022
Some are happy, while others are having much different reactions.
NFL World Reacts To Watt’s Return
It remains to be seen how much Watt will play Monday night against the Rams.
But his inclusion on the active roster should mean he is out there often.
Otherwise, he could have just stayed inactive and served as an emotional leader.
Okay, #BillsMafia tonight's drinking game.
We drink each time the announcers tell us that j.j. watt fought back from injury & is an inspiration to his teammates, etc. etc. etc.
— Words matter; Choose them wisely (@ken_petronis) January 17, 2022
We're J.J. Watt, and we're here to rockkkk. 🎵 https://t.co/rpX1JVPOcl
— Sidra Condron (@qwertybird) January 17, 2022
Can someone please explain to me how J.J. Watt is genuinely playing football tonight? He is a freak.
Cardinals are undefeated with him in the lineup by the way. pic.twitter.com/W4VqHQlrUq
— ͏ ͏ (@FourOneSixJay) January 17, 2022
Watt showed up in Arizona ready to compete for a Super Bowl.
His surgery was initially deemed to be season-ending at the time.
Perhaps he decided that there was simply no way he would miss this chance at a title in what is arguably the best chance of his career.
I am loving these opportunities for players who work their tails off in rehab to play in postseason – Cam Akers and J.J. Watt will both be at it tonight. https://t.co/Z3iwPvyRuX
— Stephania Bell (@Stephania_ESPN) January 17, 2022
Cardinals DE J.J. Watt activated off IR… pic.twitter.com/lODDQI2FXo
— David Cutler (@DCCutlerSports) January 17, 2022
The Cardinals’ biggest defensive deficiency this season has been interior DL. JJ Watt remedies that in a hurry if he’s close to full strength.
— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) January 17, 2022
So what kind of impact will Watt have?
It is tough to predict because fans do not know if he is truly back at full strength or not.
Yet even one big play or a key sack could end up being the difference in the game.
That alone would make his return worth it.
"Cardinals were ready to proceed to the playoffs without J.J. Watt, but he drew up the 'designated to return' paperwork himself, showed up at Steve Keim's office at 4am, slammed it on his desk, and demanded he sign it. Then he looked him in the eye and said, 'let's win it all!"
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) January 17, 2022
Watt is back and Cardinals fans have to be thrilled.