It keeps looking brighter and brighter for the Arizona Cardinals on the injury front.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport gave a more-than optimistic report on the statuses of star quarterback Kyler Murray and top receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
“They’ve been in timeout long enough,” said Rapoport. “Both these guys are expected back and to play for the Arizona Cardinals this week barring any sort of setback.”
Murray has dealt with a high-ankle sprain that kept him on the sidelines for almost a month. For Hopkins, it’s been a hamstring injury. Both got banged up in the same game in their loss against the Green Bay Packers.
The Cardinals face the Chicago Bears in Week 13 and are getting healthier. Offensive lineman Justin Pugh and safety James Wiggins were the only Cardinals to miss practice on December 2.
Pugh has dealt with a calf injury and is a game-time decision by head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Other than Murray and Hopkins, Rapoport also gave a positive update on another Cardinal.
Watt Injury Update
For the first time since his shoulder injury, J.J. Watt was spotted doing individual work on the sidelines at practice on December 1.
Later in the day, coach Kliff Kingsbury was optimistic about Watt’s possible return.
“You can never count him out,” said Kingsbury. “He’s a machine. He’s been working like crazy. I’m never up here when he’s not up here and doing some sort of rehab.”
A couple of hours later, Watt posted a message from the great Albert Einstein on social media: “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.
Now, Rapoport gave the latest update on Watt on Thursday on The Pat McAfee Show:
“It is crazy because he had all the things wrong in his shoulder,” said Rapoport. “It wasn’t just labrum. It was rotator-cuff. It was a lot of things. And it is possible he comes back before the Super Bowl. I mean obviously it’s the longest season ever. There is a realistic chance he comes back before the Super Bowl and maybe before the Championship Title Game. For anybody else, this would be ridiculous. Watt has literally done this before.”
Rapoport is right. Watt’s torn pectoral injury with the Texans in 2019 was thought to be season-ending. He underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left pectoral muscle and missed just 8 games and didn’t miss their playoff game.
It was absurd to think Watt could return for the 2021 season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on October 27 that Watt needed season-ending shoulder surgery.
McAfee has all the confidence in the world that Watt will be back.
“Nothing will surprise us with J.J. Watt,” said McAfee. “He was sitting in a frozen lake this whole offseason. J.J. will get it done.”
Watt’s a legitimate freak. The five-time Pro Bowler posted pictures of himself after signing with the Cardinals in a frozen lake outside his own cabin in Wisconsin.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year recorded 16 total tackles, two passes defended, a sack and a forced fumble in seven games before being sidelined by the shoulder injury.
While it seems highly unlikely Watt plays in the regular season, getting the five-time All-Pro back for a potential Super Bowl playoff run would be insanity.