J.J. Watt on track to return to Cardinals much sooner than expected?

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) J.J. Watt /

Almost two weeks have passed since he sustained his injury and Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt still hasn’t been placed on injured reserve.

Leading up to their Week 8 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, the Arizona Cardinals were delivered the news that they would be without All-Pro defensive lineman J.J. Watt for the contest.

Watt was forced to sit out Arizona‘s last game after he reportedly suffered multiple upper-body injuries in the team’s win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 7.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that the defensive lineman would be undergoing surgery to repair his injuries sometime this week. Despite the expected surgery, Arizona has yet to place Watt on injured reserve as of Thursday. Are they anticipating him to return to the field sooner than later?

Could J.J. Watt return to the Arizona Cardinals earlier than expected?

Shortly after the news of his injury was revealed, multiple reports indicated that Watt’s surgery could potentially keep him sidelined for the remainder of the 2021 season.

But with the Cardinals not placing him on injured reserve yet and still having him take a spot on their active roster, is the veteran defensive lineman going to be back on the field in the near future?

If Arizona places Watt on their injured reserve list, he has to miss at least three games. By not placing him on the list, one would think that the Cardinals believe he can potentially return as early as next week against the Carolina Panthers.

It might sound crazy to some, but why would Arizona not take advantage of his roster spot if they expected him to be out of action for at least three matchups?

Keep this in mind also. Shortly after Kingsbury said Watt would be undergoing surgery, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim went on Arizona’s 98.7 FM and shared that “surgery is an option,” for the defensive lineman and that Watt has also met with “additional specialists,” about his current injuries.

No surgery for the Cardinals pass rusher has been reported yet and he continues to appear on the team’s injury report since he is still a part of the team’s active roster.

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As brutal as the reported injuries Watt suffered against the Browns sound (torn labrum, torn bicep, torn rotator cuff, dislocated shoulder), Arizona clearly isn’t counting him out for the rest of the season, and by their recent actions, a return for the future Hall of Famer could happen sooner than the early reports indicated.