ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kliff Kingsbury confirms Cardinals DE Watt will have surgery next week

Oct 29, 2021, 10:30 AM
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 28: J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals watches action during the se...
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 28: J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals watches action during the second half of a game a at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


The Arizona Cardinals lost their first game this year without defensive end J.J. Watt Thursday night.

The veteran reportedly tore his labrum, bicep, and rotator cuff against the Houston Texans last Sunday.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury did not present a timetable for the veteran’s return during his postgame press conference, although he did confirm reports that Watt will have surgery at some point next week.

“I think a guy like that is irreplaceable,” Kingsbury said postgame. “I mean, he was having a heck of a season. It’s unfortunate it happened. But we’ve got to get some other guys to step up.”

Multiple reports Wednesday indicated that Watt will likely miss the remainder of the 2021 NFL season.

The Cardinals signed Watt in March to beef up the defensive line and add veteran leadership in the locker room.

He provided both very effectively through seven games. The veteran had nine quarterback hits in his last four games and received high praise for leadership from his teammates.

Watt’s absence was obvious in Arizona’s 24-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. The pressure up front was not as consistent without him, which impacted getting to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the run defense.

The Cardinals have dealt with various injuries this year as most teams have, and they understand that it’s up to the team to make up for the loss.

“We’ll get Corey Peters back here pretty soon, and this what the NFL is,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said after the game. “You’ve got to step up. There hasn’t been one team that I’ve been on where there hasn’t been an injury. Backups, guys that are role players have to now step up and become the guy. It’s NFL football, man.”

Nose tackles Peters (COVID-19) and Rashard Lawrence (calf) also missed Thursday’s game, and will help the run defense upon return.

They will have extra time to do so for Arizona’s next game in Week 9 against the San Francisco 49ers.

The rest of the depth on the defensive line consists of Zach Allen, Michael Dogbe, Jordan Phillips, Leki Fotu and Josh Mauro.

No one of them will replace Watt, it’s up to the collective to improve on getting pressure up front and close the running lanes. This will allow edge rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden to have a greater impact on the outside.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
2 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
3 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
3 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
4 days ago
Kliff Kingsbury confirms Cardinals DE Watt will have surgery next week