Arizona Cardinals' J.J. Watt designated to return from injured reserve

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt was designated to return from injured reserve Friday, opening a 21-day practice window for the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Watt can be activated to the Cardinals' 53-man roster anytime over the next three weeks or at the end of the 21-day period. He can begin practicing with the club starting Friday.


"It's procedural," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters after Friday's practice. "He's done all he can do in the training room and weight room. We'll get him back out there and working him through some things.

"But he's the type who rehabs just how you'd assume he would. No one has ever seen anybody go at it quite like he has in the last couple months. It's been awe-inspiring to watch him every day. It's always good to have him back on the field."


The roster move means Watt could return for the playoffs. According to ESPN, Watt is eyeing a potential return in the NFC wild-card round.

Watt initially suffered a shoulder injury Oct. 24 during the Cardinals' Week 7 game against the Houston Texans. He underwent what was believed to be season-ending surgery on the shoulder and was seen in a sling on the Cardinals' sideline throughout the season, but his activity level has ramped up over the past month.

Before the Cardinals' Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, Watt was on the field doing individual pass-rushing drills and other light activities.

The Cardinals (11-5) are scheduled to face the Seattle Seahawks (6-10) in their regular-season finale Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

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