Skip to main content

Cardinals Activate J.J. Watt for Wild Card Round Game vs. Rams

The Arizona Cardinals will have defensive end J.J. Watt in Monday's playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Arizona Cardinals activated defensive end J.J. Watt from the designated to return from injured reserve list before their playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday. All that's left is for him to be part of the active roster for the game. 

Each team's inactive list is revealed 90 minutes prior to game time.

Arizona also activated linebacker Ezekiel Turner from the designated to return list and elevated cornerback Kevin Peterson and defensive tackle Zach Kerr from the practice squad (standard). 

Watt was designated to return from injured reserve on Jan. 7 after undergoing shoulder surgery on Nov. 3. He was told that recovery for his procedure would take 4-to-6 months, and he has returned in just over two. 

He practiced last week to see whether or not he could play on Monday. He said he would not suit up if it would be detrimental to the team, but he and the Cardinals evidently feel that he is ready. 

"It was devastating to go down at that time, and all I wanted to do was get back to try and do whatever I could to help this team," Watt said last week. "I'm so thankful to everybody who helped me along the way, and I'm hopeful and looking forward to the opportunity to come back."

He likely won't have his normal amount of snaps, but his presence will be a boost nonetheless. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Arizona was 7-0 with Watt and 4-6 without him this year. He was performing better with each passing week before his injury, which he described as a dislocated shoulder that took everything with it out the back. 

He ran on the side field during many practices while on injured reserve to keep his conditioning up. 

Before returning to practice, he did some individual work against offensive linemen to test his shoulder against contact.

The elevation of Kerr creates some doubt whether defensive tackle Jordan Phillips will be active. He has missed the last three games because of a knee injury.

The Rams elevated safety Eric Weddle, who was signed to the practice squad last week. The veteran has not played since 2019, but L.A. needed reinforcements because both starting safeties Jordan Fuller and Taylor Rapp are out with injuries. 

Los Angeles also elevated safety Blake Countess. 

The game will start at 6:15 p.m. Arizona time.