Home » J.J. Watt returns to practice; status uncertain for Arizona Cardinals’ wild-card game Monday

J.J. Watt returns to practice; status uncertain for Arizona Cardinals’ wild-card game Monday

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt practiced Thursday for the primary time since he injured his left shoulder in opposition to the Houston Texans on Oct. 24.

He was “very restricted,” coach Kliff Kingsbury mentioned, however was in a position to participate in some drills. Watt was on the sphere for the open portion of follow and went by drills punching a sled and dealing with a defensive lineman appearing as an offensive lineman.

Kingsbury did not have any clarification on whether or not Watt is perhaps able to play in his first recreation in virtually 12 weeks on Monday night time within the NFC wild-card recreation in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams.

“Like I discussed earlier, it is the subsequent step,” Kingsbury mentioned. “We’re not going to get forward of ourselves for whether or not he will play or not for some time. It is nice having him again on the market.

“He was completed together with his rehab, completed with all he may do within the weight room, so we needed to get him again out doing a little purposeful soccer workout routines. That was the step immediately.”

Watt mentioned he dislocated his shoulder “out the again” and injured his rotator cuff, labrum, capsule and infraspinatus, along with dislocating his biceps tendon.

After having surgical procedure to restore the shoulder on Nov. 3, Watt was given a four-to-six-month window for a return. He mentioned he broke his timeline into weeks and requested the query: “How the hell can I get again quicker than that to get again on the market, guys?”

“And you then simply go to work and you don’t have any clue that it should truly work or not,” he mentioned. “You don’t have any clue in the event you’re gonna make it occur or not, however you simply go to work. And if it really works, it really works. If it does not, it does not, however I knew that, at that second, you are going to do every little thing you probably can as a result of these guys in there [would] do every little thing they probably may for me.”

Watt returned to the sphere Thursday after about 2½ months.

His standing for Monday night time will not be decided till nearer to the sport, however he’ll must be cleared by the Cardinals’ docs and trainers, Kingsbury mentioned.

Watt has spent the previous few weeks ramping up towards a return to the sphere. He maxed out his restoration and rehab and had began doing on-field work earlier than getting designated to return from the injured reserve on Friday.

“He is mainly completed every little thing humanly potential he may do within the coaching room, within the weight room,” Kingsbury mentioned.

The following step in Watt’s return was dealing with offensive linemen off to the aspect at follow. He went by simulated performs, drives and halves earlier than returning to follow Thursday. His conditioning was by no means a priority, Watt mentioned, and he began working as quickly because the docs allowed it.

“I am not going to place myself on the sphere if it should put my workforce in a worse scenario,” Watt mentioned.

If all this sounds acquainted, that is as a result of it’s.

Watt returned from a torn pec after 10 weeks in 2019, simply in time for the Houston Texans’ playoff opener, after being given an extended prognosis for a return.

Despite the fact that Watt is within the 21-day window to return from injured reserve, he is within the subsequent step of his return, which is to start out dealing with reside motion.

Watt at all times thought coming again in time to play this season was a chance.

“For me, personally, there’s by no means been a second that I did not take into account [a return to be] sensible as a result of if I did then it would not work,” he mentioned. “I needed to actually consider it each second for it to work. I imply, you need to consider within the course of and you need to consider you are going to do one thing. I imply, it is the visualization issue or the putting-it-out-in-the-universe, no matter you need to say, however in the event you do not consider in your self, it isn’t gonna occur. So, I believed in it from the start.”

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