Cardinals’ J.J. Watt ‘won’t speak’ on Wild Card game return vs. Rams just yet

Jan 12, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: 1:36 pm
J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Ban...
J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on September 26, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt on Wednesday told reporters that he’ll be returning to practice this week.

However, Watt “won’t speak” on if he will be able to play against the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round on Monday night just yet.

“I’m looking forward to getting out (on the practice field) and seeing how it goes. … We’ll make that decision as we get closer,” he said.

Watt added that he won’t suit up if he’ll end up being a detriment to the team.

Earlier on Wednesday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury also told reporters that Watt would be returning to the practice field on Thursday.

“It starts with the player,” Kingsbury said. “If he’s feeling like he can do it, doctors have to clear him, trainers have to clear him.

“He’s basically done everything humanly possible he could do in the training room, in the weight room. So the next step is to get him on the practice field and see what he can do. I don’t think anybody knows exactly what that is until we get him out there Thursday and see where he’s at.”

The Cardinals designated Watt to return last Friday, which allows him to see how much he can give on the practice field before being placed on the active roster for a playoff game.

Thursday will mark the first full practice for Arizona since Watt’s designation to return, as the team shifted its usual practice schedule back a day with gameday not being until Monday.

In seven games for the Cardinals this season, the defensive end has registered 16 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, 28 pressures, and 11 QB hits and 16 hurries.

Watt also played through a shoulder dislocation “that took everything with it on the way out” in Arizona’s 31-5 win on Oct. 24 over his former team in the Houston Texans.

He told reporters Wednesday that he had surgery to repair the laundry list of injures on Nov. 3.

“I don’t have a feel either way,” Kingsbury said of Watt being able to suit up vs. the Rams on Monday. “It’s been a while since he’s been out there and I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

“He’s done everything he possibly can… weight room, training room. There’s nothing left for him to do in there so it’s time to progress out on the field and we’ll see how it goes this week.”

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