TEMPE (Ariz.) -- The Arizona Cardinals lost one their most valuable defensive players on the eve their biggest game of season.
Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter Wednesday night that defensive end J.J. Watt will have what is most likely to be season-ending shoulder surgery. The date for the operation has not been set.
On Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers will host the Cardinals in a matchup to take control of the NFC. Arizona is 7-0 and Green Bay is 6-1, making it the most exciting Thursday night Super Bowl game. This is the highest combined winning percentage (.929) in a Thursday game in October during the Super Bowl era. It also marks the first time that two teams have at least 13 wins each since the 1970 merger.
Watt was in his first season with the Cardinals. He injured his shoulder during the second quarter on Sunday. However, he managed to continue playing the remainder of the game. He was awarded a tackle for loss, and a quarterback hit.
Watt was ruled out by the undefeated Cardinals who are currently in first place in NFC. On Tuesday, he didn't attend the Cardinals' sole practice. It turned out that his situation was worse.
After missing training camp due to a hamstring injury, Watt was finally able to find his place in the Cardinals' defense. He needed to play four games before he could get his feet under him.
Watt recorded 10 tackles this season, five for a loss and one sack. He was able to get to the quarterback frequently by mingling with his new defensive team. He had 10 touchdowns in the first seven games and nine in his four previous.
His impact is greater on a Cardinals defense that's the most efficient on third down and allows the fewest points per game in the league.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he has the third highest pass rush win rate of defensive tackles. Watt defeated his blocker in 2.5 seconds using 22.8% snaps when he lined-up at defensive tackle. This is the third-best league rate.
Watt's pass rush led to three sacks, and two interceptions.
Vance Joseph, the Cardinals' defensive coordinator, stated that J had played well over the past three weeks before the game against the Houston Texans. He missed camp so he was not in peak form for the first two games of the season. He's been playing at a high level from the Rams game to the San Fran game last weekend to Sunday. He's so disruptive. He is making plays. Although his sack numbers aren't there, he has been dominating the field for the past three weeks. He's played on third downs, knocking down balls, and making TFLs on the first and second down.
Another injury to the three-time defensive player for the year.
Watt will miss the fourth season due to injury. He missed eight games in 2019, 11 in 2017, and 13 in 2016, due to a torn pec. In 2016, he also missed 11 games because of a fractured left leg.
Watt will not be available, but the Cardinals will have back pass-rusher Chandler Jones. Jones missed the previous two games due to COVID-19. On Monday, he was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 roster.
The Cardinals would be 8-0 for their first win in franchise history.
Even though Watt was not 100%, Arizona's defense dominated Sunday's victory over Houston Texans 31-5. "It was a match we should have won," Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons stated. "And we did."