Report: Arizona Cardinals hopeful J.J. Watt returns to practice Thursday

Jan 11, 2022, 12:52 PM
October: J.J. Watt reads between the lines on Kingsbury-Oklahoma report.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals are “hopeful” that defensive end J.J. Watt can begin practicing on Thursday, giving him a chance to play Monday in a Wild Card game at the Los Angeles Rams, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Arizona on Friday designated Watt to return, which allows him to hit the practice field before he is officially placed on the active roster.

Thursday will mark the Cardinals’ first full-go practice since Watt’s designation to return. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday that the weekly practice schedule cadence was pushed back a day with the Rams game not coming until Monday.

Watt appeared in Arizona’s first seven games of the 2021 regular season and on Oct. 24 played through what was reportedly a torn labrum, biceps and rotator cuff, plus a shoulder dislocation. He suffered that injury in the middle of a 31-5 win against the Houston Texans.

He recorded 16 tackles, seven stuffs, a sack and a forced fumble. Per Pro Football Focus, Watt tallied 28 pressures, highlighted by 11 QB hits and 16 hurries.

General manager Steve Keim told Burns & Gambo on Friday that he would not rule out Watt’s availability for the first playoff game that had yet to be set.

“Yeah, I mean I wouldn’t rule it out and I wouldn’t bet against J.J. Watt,” Keim said before Arizona’s season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. “What I’ve seen from him internally in the building, his work ethic, the things he has done out on the field making sure he has stayed in shape, his nutrition, his preparation, is second-to-none. There is nobody who works like J.J. Watt.

“Certainly think he’s got an opportunity here moving forward.”

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates during the first half of an NFL wild-ca...
Wills Rice

Report: Rams’ Aaron Donald fined for run-in with Cardinals’ D.J. Humphries

Report: Rams DT Aaron Donald has been fined $10,815 for his incident with Cardinals OT D.J. Humphries in Monday's Wild Card loss.
16 hours ago
Iowa offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum (65) looks to make a block during the first half of an NCAA...
Alex Weiner

Cardinals select Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum in latest PFF mock draft

Pro Football Focus had the Arizona Cardinals selecting Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in its first mock draft since Arizona's season ended.
16 hours ago
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals leads teammates onto the field before the NFL game agai...
Alex Weiner

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: Offensive line breakdown

Right guard Max Garcia is the only Arizona Cardinals starting offensive linemen who is an upcoming free agent.
2 days ago
Linebacker Karlos Dansby #58 of the Arizona Cardinals claps in the second half against the St. Loui...
Arizona Sports

Former Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby: Moment was too big for them

Former Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby said Arizona was not able to slow the game down when it started to slip in Monday's playoff loss. 
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker J...
Wills Rice

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: A look at linebacker

The Cardinals have used their last two first round draft selections on linebackers, yet the position still seems to be one of need.
2 days ago
Purdue defensive end...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals take DL George Karlaftis in Kiper’s 1st NFL mock draft

ESPN's Mel Kiper has the Cardinals selecting DE George Karlaftis in the first round of his first NFL mock draft of the offseason.
3 days ago
Report: Arizona Cardinals hopeful J.J. Watt returns to practice Thursday