Cardinals activate J.J. Watt and Dennis Gardeck from PUP, among other moves

Aug 23, 2021, 12:04 PM

Most significantly among a series of roster moves Monday, the Arizona Cardinals announced that they activated defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Arizona also pulled receiver Andy Isabella off of the COVID-19 reserve list, released tight end Ian Bunting and wideout Rico Gafford, then waived cornerback Luq Barcoo with a failed physical designation.

Watt, who signed with the Cardinals after being released by the Houston Texans before the end of the 2020 league year, went through Arizona’s conditioning test on July 29 and felt “a little soreness” in his hamstring. That put him on the PUP list.

Gardeck is back after he injured his ACL in Week 15 of last season. He did not undergo surgery on his knee until mid-January.

The special teams captain made his defensive debut in Week 5 of last season and thrived as a situational pass-rusher — he finished the year second on the team with 7.0 sacks on just 94 defensive snaps. Though he ended 2020 with a serious knee injury, Gardeck was retained as a restricted free agent by inking a tender at a second-round value.

Isabella was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list a week ago this Monday. It was the third-year pro’s second time being put under protocols for either testing positive for the virus or being a close contact.

Bunting and Gafford likely found themselves on the outside looking in at their respective position groups as a roster cut deadline looms Tuesday.

Barcoo was acquired via waiver claim on Friday before his release.

Teams must be at or below 80 players by 1 p.m. MST Tuesday.

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