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Jesse Luketa didn’t let wisdom teeth stop him from scoring J.J. Watt jersey

Dec 29, 2022, 5:01 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 9:19 am

TEMPE — There was hefty outpouring of warm regards and reminiscing shortly after Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt announced on Tuesday he was retiring from the NFL after the season.

But among the many texts, calls, emails and whatever else people are using these days to communicate with one another, there was one that stood out above the rest.

Hoping to score himself a No. 99 jersey before Watt heads for life after football, rookie Jesse Luketa wasn’t letting some wisdom teeth extraction get in his way in reaching out to his teammate.

“I posted the tweet yesterday and then I kind of just put my phone down, because I knew it would be crazy,” Watt said Wednesday. “I took my son to his pediatric appointment … and I’m coming home and I check my phone and it’s literally — it’s crazy — and I’m scrolling through it and there’s this number that I don’t recognize that FaceTime’s me. I’m like, ‘I’m not going to answer a FaceTime that I don’t know.’ I let it go to voicemail and then I get a text from that number and it’s a voice memo. ‘Who is this number?’

“I play this voice memo and it’s — I wish I could play it so bad — and it is incoherent. Complete incoherence. I’m like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I literally thought it was distorted from the phone. Ten seconds later, a picture comes through and it’s Jesse Luketa … and he has like cotton balls in both of his (cheeks), he just got his wisdom teeth out. He was high off his (expletive), he has no clue what he’s doing. In the message, he says like, ‘J.J., I just heard you were retiring. All I want is a jersey at the end of the season.’

Watt added he had to listen to the voice memo back 10 times to understand what the rookie linebacker was saying.

Luckily for Luketa, not only did Watt get a good laugh out of the linebacker’s communication tactics under anesthesia, the rookie has some new threads coming his way, courtesy of the future Hall of Famer.

“I told him, ‘You got the jersey. You made my day. You won the whole day,'” Watt said.


              Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt plays catch with fans prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) motions after a sack against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates his sack against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

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Jesse Luketa didn’t let wisdom teeth stop him from scoring J.J. Watt jersey