The Cardinals head into the “Thursday Night Football” game undefeated, but will play the game without one of their star players in J.J. Watt.
The defensive end will miss the primetime game this week due to a shoulder injury he suffered during the second quarter of the Cardinals’ 31-5 win over the Texans. He continued to play the rest of the game with the injury. He missed the Cardinals’ only practice this week on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday was officially listed on the injury reserve list.
On Wednesday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Watt will undergo a shoulder surgery that is most likely season-ending.
Cardinals’ DE J.J. Watt will undergo what is now likely to be season-ending shoulder surgery, sources tell ESPN. No date set yet for surgery.
Watt hurt his shoulder in the second quarter Sunday and still managed to play the rest of the game with the injury. pic.twitter.com/Y2pzFV8sFQ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2021
Watt has 16 tackles (five for loss) and a sack through seven games with the Cardinals after being traded from the Texans in the offseason. Although Watt’s sack numbers aren’t as high as they were with the Texans, his role on defense has helped the Cardinals remain undefeated.
Here’s more details on Watt’s absence, along with a timeline and updates on his injury status.
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How long is J.J. Watt out?
Details haven’t been given on the severity of Watt’s shoulder injury, but he has played seven full games without showing any signs of injury.
Watt was the first Cardinals player designated out of the team’s “Thursday Night Football” tilt vs. the Packers. The decision came after he did not participate in Tuesday’s practice, which happened to be the only practice for the Cardinals on their short week.
Watt is set to have surgery on his shoulder that will likely end his 2021 season; however, the date for surgery has not been confirmed. Once he undergoes the surgery, Watt will most likely be out for the rest of the season.
MORE: Why J.J. Watt left Texans, signed with Cardinals before 2021 season
Who is replacing J.J. Watt’?
Michael Dogbe is Watt’s replacement on the Cardinals’ depth chart. Dogbe has played in six games this season, totaling nine tackles and one sack. This is his third year in the league, all with the Cardinals.
Dogbe played in 27 defensive snaps in last week’s matchup vs. the Texans, which happened to be the most he has played in his career. He had three tackles for loss during the game. Following the game, Pro Football Focus graded Dogbe with an 81.2, above Watt’s 80.9.
#AZCardinals top PFF grades for Week 7:
Kyler Murray, 90.2
Kelvin Beachum, 84.6
D.J. Humphries, 81.0
James Conner, 77.4
DeAndre Hopkins, 73.8
Markus Golden, 88.5
Michael Dogbe, 81.2
Devon Kennard, 81.2
J.J. Watt, 80.9
Jordan Hicks, 77.4
— Chuck Harris (@chuckh3) October 25, 2021
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J.J. Watt injury timeline
On Sunday, Oct. 24, Watt’s shoulder was injured during the Cardinals game against the Texans. He got hurt in the second quarter, but continued to finish the game. Later into the week, it was discovered his injury was more serious than expected.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Watt’s expected recovery should take around three months. This timeline is still uncertain.
#AZCardinals DE JJ Watt played the entire second half last week… and now needs shoulder surgery, source said. The recovery is likely at least three months, which may knock him out for the season. A tough situation for the veteran.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2021
J.J. Watt injury updates
— Oct. 27: It is reported that Watt will need surgery on his shoulder, which will most likely end his 2021 season.
— Oct. 27: Watt is the first Cardinals player designated out for their Thursday night matchup against the Packers due to a shoulder injury. The team lists no immediate timeline for return.
— Oct. 26: Watt is absent from the Cardinals’ only practice of the week, causing speculation he may be injured.
— Oct. 24: Watt is injured during the second quarter of the Cardinals game vs. the Texans. He plays through the rest of the game.