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Wednesday was not a good day for the Cardinals and defensive end J.J. Watt, tracing back to Sunday when he reportedly suffered a shoulder injury that will require surgery in the win over the Houston Texans.

Monday, Watt showed up on the injury report as not practicing because of the shoulder injury. 

The designation was an estimation because the Cardinals did not practice that day. 

Had the Cardinals not been playing Thursday, there would not have been an injury report Monday and we wouldn’t have known there was an issue with his shoulder because head coach Kliff Kingsbury only talks about injuries when asked and then provides bare-bone information.

The Cardinals practiced Tuesday, but Watt was not present and the injury report indicated that. The surprise came Wednesday when the team did not practice again, and in addition to the estimated DNP (did not practice), Watt was declared out for Thursday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

The bombshell came later Wednesday when Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport reported he would likely miss the remainder of the season because of the need for surgery.

That’s when Dr. David Chao ( on Twitter) jumped on the story. Late Wednesday night, Dr. Chao told AllCardinals in a text, “Dislocated left shoulder with labral tear. Video coming.” Dr. Chao also believes the labrum injury occurred on the first dive to the ground and thus was not the result of continuing to play.

That video posted Thursday morning and can be viewed above with plays from the game. It should also be noted that in the third quarter Sunday, Alex Weiner noticed Watt running to the sideline from the tunnel that leads to the Cardinals locker room.

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Red flags should have been raised when it was realized that Watt played only 43% percent of the snaps against Houston. In the previous six games, it had been 72, 90, 82, 72, 83 and 86.

In his video, Dr. Chao pointed out that Watt had a brace on his left elbow, which he normally wears. However, later in the game with Watt standing on the sideline, the elbow brace was gone and replaced by a harness on his left shoulder.

Thursday morning, more troubling news came from Rapoport, who reported that Watt also suffered a torn biceps and rotator cuff. Watt is said to be seeking a second opinion before deciding what is his best option.

However, Dr. Chao told AllCardinals Thursday that the biceps tear is to the long head of the biceps, not the complete biceps and that the dislocation was anterior, not posterior. He also said Watt could play through the labrum and biceps injuries, but that the issue is the subscapularis muscle in the rotator cuff.

It is also important to emphasize, which Dr. Chao also mentioned below and in the video, there was no announcement during the game of an injury to Watt’s shoulder. The NFL media policy mandates in-game announcements of injuries. It says:

“Clubs must ensure that all medical information issued to the media is credible, responsible, and specific in terms that are meaningful to teams, media, and fans. This includes the information in the weekly injury reports and information on injuries announced to the media during games.

“As endorsed by the NFL Competition Committee, in-game injury announcements to the media must be specific to a body part, accurate, and updated as warranted, including any changes in the player’s status for the rest of the game if it changes from the initial report.”

Here is what Dr. Chao wrote on

“J.J. Watt, the Cardinals star defensive end, will reportedly undergo surgery on the left shoulder he injured in Sunday's 31-5 win over the Texans. By video, Watt chased Davis Mills out of the pocket with just over two minutes left in the first half and made a diving attempt to trip the Houston quarterback. As Watt hit the ground, his left arm was trapped underneath him and he likely suffered a shoulder subluxation/dislocation. The three-time defensive player of the year got up after the play and didn't seem to be in pain, but he did flex his elbow and arm to test the shoulder.

“Watt remained in the game and, on the next play, made an inside move to pressure Davis Mills into an incomplete pass. After halftime, Watt continued playing, but appeared to be favoring his left arm. He remained in the game until about the seven-minute mark in the third quarter. The team did not provide word about his injury during the game or after, thus everyone assumed Watt was taken out because the game was lopsided.

“However, Watt was spotted on the sideline in the fourth quarter with a heavy brace on his shoulder. The brace he was using is consistent with a shoulder dislocation/subluxation injury. He was spotted sitting on the bench a short time later without the brace, signaling that he was done for the day. If Watt's reported surgery is to repair a torn labrum, he will be out for the duration of the season and the playoffs.”