Watt tore his labrum, bicep, rotator cuff, and suffered a separated shoulder in October which seemingly ended his season.
He has been doing everything possible to get back to full health for the playoffs.
Watt is still on injured reserve but was a limited participant in practice this week.
He is in Los Angeles with the team as they prepare for their Monday night game wildcard game against the Rams.
Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury talked about the possibility of having Watt back for the playoffs.
“It’s been great having him out there. We just got to get to Monday and see what his comfort level is and what he feels like and what we think he can do for us…We’ll take it down to the wire with him. He’s done everything humanly possible to put himself in this position. I know if he has it his way, he’ll be out there but we got to be smart, do the right thing and make sure it’s right for all parties involved.”
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 16, 2022
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported on Sunday that Watt will play on Monday night.
Though he has not yet been activated, that is expected to happen on Monday.
If he plays, here is what he gives the Cardinals defense.
1. Veteran Leadership
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) January 15, 2022
There is no doubt that the Cardinals’ defense benefits from Watt’s leadership.
He is a consummate professional who brings out the best in the younger players as he pushes himself to be at his absolute best.
Watt may be past his career peak, but his presence on the field and his 102 career sacks through 135 career games are a positive influence on a young Cardinals team.
Over the summer, Kingsbury talked about what Watt brings to the team.
“With J.J., anywhere he goes in the building things seem to intensify and that’s what you’re looking for. Whether he’s in the weight room working out or he’s doing a drill with some of those younger D-linemen, I mean he lifts up the group and so it’s been impressive to see how he carries himself…The professionalism, whether he’s in meetings or in drills, it’s just next level.”
— Tyler Drake (@Tdrake4sports) January 14, 2022
2. Winning Record
The @AZCardinals are 7-0 when JJ Watt plays football.
JJ Watt plays football in 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/Z07OKfjfPM
— Joanna Cards Fan (@cardsfanjoanna) January 16, 2022
When Watt went out, the Cardinals were 7-0.
In the 10 games since, they went 4-6.
When Watt was in the lineup, the Cardinals were winning, and they have faltered since.
Watt has endured long seasons on bad teams.
He has appeared in 8 playoff games with the Houston Texans throughout his 10 years with the team.
In his first year with the Cardinals and as a member of a team with a viable path to win playoff games, it is not hard to believe that Watt is doing everything he can to get back on the field.
Watt is going to turn 33 during the 2022 offseason, and he will enter the final year of his two-year contract with the Cardinals.
The door is closing on Watt’s playoff and Super Bowl opportunities, and he knows it.
NEXT: Cardinals Provide A Definitive Update On J.J. Watt