Cardinals fans have been waiting to get their first glimpse of one of the team’s big offseason additions. It could come sooner rather than later.
Defensive end J.J. Watt expects to return to practice Monday, he told ESPN’s Lisa Salters on the network’s Friday night broadcast of the Cardinals’ preseason game against the Chiefs.
Watt has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered at the start of training camp in July.
“I’m good. I’m all good,” Watt told Salters.
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Injuries have plagued the Pro Bowl lineman the past several years. Watt has played in just two full seasons over the past five years after he appeared in all 16 regular-season games in each of his first five NFL seasons. Last year, he played in all 16 games for the Texans and logged 52 tackles, five sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Watt requested his release from the Texans in February. He signed with the Cardinals just over a month later. He played 10 seasons for the Texans after being drafted 11th overall by them in 2011.
While Watt will return to practice, he still might not appear in the team’s final preseason game Aug. 28 against the Saints. Many of the league’s top players have been limited or absent from preseason games to preserve their health ahead of the new 17-game regular season. The 32-year-old Watt might wait until the Cardinals’ season opener Sept. 12 against the Titans for his first game action with them.
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