Inside JJ Watt’s injury hell after the NFL legend suffered a pre-game A-Fib heart scare

Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt has been plagued by injuries in recent years.

Drafted eleventh overall by the Houston Texans in the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt dominated for the next five years.

Watt had two defended passes on Sunday

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Watt had two defended passes on SundayCredit: AP
Watt always matches the fans before the game

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Watt always matches the fans before the gamePhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty
Watt spent ten years with the Texans

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Watt spent ten years with the TexansPhoto credit: AP:Associated Press

Watt didn’t miss a game during that stint, leading the league in sacks twice, being named First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowler four times, and winning all three of his Defensive Player of the Year titles.

In 2014, Watt even finished second in the NFL MVP pick — a remarkable feat considering Lawrence Taylor was the last defensive end to come that close, back in 1986 when he won the award, per Pro Football Talk.

Since 2015, however, Watt has only played a full schedule twice.

bad luck begins

Watt struggled with injuries until 2016, when he missed time for the first time in his NFL career.

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After suffering a broken hand and a sports fracture during the 2015 season, Watt underwent surgery on his back and fracture in 2016 but made it back in time for Week 1.

However, he only made it three games before aggravating his back injury and spending the rest of the season on injured reserve as he required another operation.

Watt returned to start the 2017 season, starting in the first five games before ending the regular season again on IR after suffering a fractured shin.

2018 was a comeback year for Watt, who made it through the season, tallying 16 sacks, finishing runner-up in the NFL Comeback Player of the Year category and again being named First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowler.

Another promising start to the season followed in 2019 with four sacks in eight games before a torn chest muscle forced Watt back to IR for the remainder of the regular season.

Miraculously, Watt made a comeback for his wildcard win over the Buffalo Bills and also played in their divisional round against the Kansas City Chiefs, who went on to win the Super Bowl.

2020 was Watts’ final season in Houston as the Bill O’Brien-era Texans began to crumble after their loss to the Chiefs and some questionable moves from then-general manager O’Brien.

Watt and O’Brien reportedly had a breakdown in training, with the latter being fired shortly after.

Watt has managed to play all sixteen games this season and has five sacks, his all-season low to date.

It had been clear all season that it was time for Watt and the Texans to part ways, and this proved to be the case as the Texans began their rebuild by releasing Watt.

After a high-profile foray into free agency, Watt eventually signed for the Arizona Cardinals.

However, his first season wasn’t what he probably hoped for.

Against the Texans in Week 7, Watt separated his shoulder, resulting in a tear to the labrum, biceps and rotator cuff, which again landed him on IR.

However, Watt returned again for the playoffs when the Cardinals lost their wildcard match to eventual Super Bowl champion LA Rams.

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WATT’S LATEST EDITION

After missing Week 1, Watt has since started all three of Arizona’s games and recorded two sacks.

But once again Watt was unlucky.

On Sunday, Watt announced via his Twitter that he contracted atrial fibrillation on Wednesday – meaning he had been suffering from an irregular and often rapid heart rate.

He tweeted: “I have just been told that someone has released some personal information about me and this is being reported today.

“I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, my heart got back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today.”

Watt eventually played and had two passes defended as the Cardinals defeated the Carolina Panthers 26-16.

After the game, an emotional Watt said: “Obviously it’s been a very emotional week for my family, for my wife and for me.

“That’s why I’m very happy to have won today.

“Of course I had a lot of emotions, but I learned to appreciate the little things even more and that’s why it’s nice to have a win today.”

Watt added, “The only people who knew about it were people I was supposed to trust.

“And I don’t care about injuries. If you disclose injuries, that’s football. But this one was very emotional for me, so it upset me.”

Watt has 104 career sacks in 138 games

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Watt has 104 career sacks in 138 gamesPhoto credit: Getty
Watt and NWSL player Kealia Ohai have been together since 2016

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Watt and NWSL player Kealia Ohai have been together since 2016Photo credit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6357583/jj-watts-injury-hell-nfl-legend-heart-scare/ Inside JJ Watt’s injury hell after the NFL legend suffered a pre-game A-Fib heart scare

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