Cardinals Lose JJ Watt For The Season

J.J. Watt. with Texans in 2018
J.J. Watt. with Texans in 2018. Photo by Trask Smith/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The Arizona Cardinals are moving forward in the 2021 NFL season without their star defensive end J.J. Watt. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Watt is set to undergo a shoulder surgery that will most likely sideline him for the rest of the season.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year got hurt during last week’s 31-5 win over the Houston Texans. He finished the game, but later tests showed he needed to have a procedure to repair the damage on his shoulder. The date of surgery remains undetermined.

Watt joined the Cardinals on a two-year, $28 million contract in March. He had a slow start to his stint in Arizona but has rediscovered his playmaking abilities in recent weeks. The 32-year-old has totaled 16 tackles, one sack, 10 QB hits, and one forced fumble so far in the season.

The news represents a tough blow for the Cardinals, who have so far established themselves as Super Bowl contenders in 2021. They were the only undefeated team in the league up until their last game, and their defense has been a big part of this, allowing the fewest points per game in the league. Despite not having eye-catching stats, Watt emerged as a significant contributor, so losing him will certainly impact Arizona’s ability to stop opposing offenses moving forward.

J.J. Watt, who was the 11th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, never missed a game in his first five seasons in the NFL. Since then, however, he was forced to cut his campaigns short three times due to various injuries.