When Watt was a Houston Texan, he raised over $40 million in 2017 to help relief efforts for destructive Hurricane Harvey. In November, Waukesha native Watt helped cover funeral costs for the victims of the terrible Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy.
ALL the latest Cardinals news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Cardinals newsletter here!
Unfortunately for Watt, his 2021 regular season ended after suffering a shoulder surgery to the Texans in Week 7. He had surgery in Houston and was told recovery was going to take “four to six months”. That would end his season altogether.
But Watt insisted to make a comeback. Even coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim haven’t ruled him out for the potential playoff run.
A young journalist got the chance to get Watt’s first interview since the injury.
Journalist Gets Interview of a Lifetime
For anyone, it’d be tough to get a high-profile name like J.J. Watt for an interview, especially considering how busy Watt is in his recovery.
Gupta asked Watt for an interview on Twitter. Gupta also battles Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable disease in which he cannot climb stairs or run.
Gupta got a 16-minute Zoom interview with Watt that was released on December 21, where he shared an update on his recovery.
“It’s going really well,” said Watt. “It’s going much better than I think we could have hoped or expected for it to go at this time. I’m feeling really good, I’m doing a lot of stuff to try and push it as hard as I can to smartly and safely get back as fast as I can.”
The team lost Watt when they were 7-0. Watt wasn’t willing to give in to the season-ending shoulder injury.
“I said I’m not going to accept that,” he explained. “We’ve got an unbelievable team. I want to see when I can get back.”
Watt has a history of overcoming the odds of returning to game action. He had a torn pectoral injury with the Texans in 2019 which was thought to be season-ending. The All-Pro underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left pectoral muscle and missed just 8 games and didn’t miss their playoff game.
The 32-year-old has been seen at practice working on the side, and even before the game against the Rams. Watt didn’t tell Gupta how close he is, but has continued to battle his projected recovery time.
“It’s just a daily grind and you want to get a little bit better each day,” said Watt. “Motivation is everywhere.”
Watt complimented Gupta’s interviewing skills.
“It’s easy to stumble over your words or kind of get lost in your train of thought, you haven’t done any of that,” Watt told Gupta. “You’re killing it! You’re doing great.”
Gupta is from the Houston area and has also gotten interviews with Astros star Jose Altuve and NFL talk-show host Rich Eisen.
Gupta told Arizona’s 12News that his story motivates him for the future.
“It doesn’t really matter what you’re going through, you can still accomplish your dreams,” said Gupta. “And like J.J. Watt’s Twitter bio says ‘Dream Big. Work Hard.’ That’s really something that anybody can do in their life. You can do it because I’m doing it right now.”