Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt not ruling out return in 2021

Nov 16, 2021, 11:45 AM

An injured Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt walks off the field after an NFL football game...

An injured Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. The Panthers won 34-10. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

The Arizona Cardinals remain hopeful that defensive end J.J. Watt can return this season after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.

Watt’s recovery time is projected from two to three months. He is already back in the team’s weight room, Gambadoro adds.

On the shorter end of that timetable would make Watt available during the postseason. Arizona’s regular season concludes Jan. 9, 2022, against the Seattle Seahawks, and the team securing a bye would give Watt another week to return.

The defensive end suffered the injury on Oct. 24 against the Houston Texans.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added later that week that the specific injury was a dislocated shoulder and “other associated damage” that includes a torn labrum, biceps and rotator cuff. He said that recovery time for such an injury is typically three months.

Watt has 10 tackles and a sack this season. Despite not playing the past three weeks, he remains third on the team in tackles for loss (five) and third in quarterback hits (10).

Arizona signed Watt before the 2021 NFL league year began after he spent his first 10 years with the Houston Texans.

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Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt not ruling out return in 2021