ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals DL J.J. Watt pushing shoulder injury return ‘smartly and safely’

Dec 22, 2021, 9:34 AM

J.J. Watt hasn’t gone in front of the camera since blowing out his shoulder on Oct. 24 against his former team, the Houston Texans. Yet word about his willingness to recover from the serious injury in time to help the Arizona Cardinals this season have given an optimistic tint to the team’s chances of making a playoff run.

His silence ended Tuesday. Watt joined YouTube sports talk host Maanav Gupta and provided a sliver of an update on his rehab process.

“It’s going really well. It’s going much better than I think we could have hoped or expected for it to go at this time. I’m feeling really good,” Watt told Gupta. “I’m doing a lot of stuff to try and push it as hard as I can, to smartly and safely make it back as fast as I can.”

Watt reportedly tore his labrum, biceps and rotator cuff. He also dislocated his shoulder, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The defensive lineman appeared in Arizona’s first seven games of the year and played through the injury in the 31-5 win against Houston.

Over those games, he posted 16 tackles, seven stuffs, a sack and a forced fumble. The Cardinals have missed his presence lately, having gone 3-4 since Watt got hurt.

Watt told Gupta that the injury obviously struck him as disappointing, but he quickly reverted into work mode with his eyes on beating the initial projections that said he would be done for the year.

“I’ve always been a guy who just, you want to be successful in whatever that means, whatever that looks like in the individual situation you’re in,” Watt told Gupta. “You tear everything in your shoulder against the Texans in October. My first reaction is, ‘Damn, I’m on a team, I’m 7-0 and we’re finally looking like we have a great team and I’m having the opportunity to do something special and now I blow my shoulder out. Damn. Like all this work for nothing, now I’m done.’

“Then they tell me that I’m done and I have to get surgery and it’s going to take four to six months, and so I’m sitting there and I could easily pout … woe is me, four to six months. Instead I said, ‘No, I’m not going to accept that.’ We got an unbelievable team. I want to see when I can get back. I talked to the doctor: ‘How fast can we really move this thing, how fast can you screw those screws down in my shoulder? I promise I’ll do the rest.'”

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