LA Rams: Rival Cardinals J.J. Watt faces season ending surgery

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Even as the LA Rams enter Week 8 with a goal of winning their seventh game, the Arizona Cardinals prepare to face the hobbled Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. If this was a fully weaponized Green Bay Packers offense, one that included both WR Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, the game would be a true toss-up.  But Adams test positive for COVID-19, Lazard did not clear protocols quickly enough, and the Packers will face the Cardinals without two key players.

But it’s not completely one-sided. The Cardinals have suffered a blow as well. It seems that their veteran star defender J.J. Watt was injured trying to make a tackle on Sunday and now faces season-ending surgery to repair the damage, per Ian Rapoport.

Here is a more detailed analysis of what happened to the Cardinals defensive lineman.

That could change the trajectory of the Arizona Cardinals’ success because Watt has been a solid fid on that defense. Now, with his absence, how solid will their defense be?

Well, better than you may think. While Watt has been a solid player, the Cardinals have finally assembled a defense that can keep them in the game even as the offense may struggle. That point was crystal clear when the Cardinals defeated their divisional rival San Francisco 49ers by a score of 17-10.

Even though he only accounted for one tackle against the LA Rams, Watt was very close to sacking Matthew Stafford on multiple occasions. And he was one of the key contributors to the Rams’ only defeat of the season.

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I’m not here to celebrate the injury of an NFL player, let alone that of venerable J.J. Watt. But Watt’s absence will make the path to success harder to come by for the Arizona Cardinals.  That could make the rematch in Arizona later this season result in a different outcome. The LA Rams must continue to win to apply pressure on the Cardinals. But now, it appears that the Cardinals may turn out to be a little less formidable.