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Cardinals star J.J. Watt takes important steps ahead of potential return in Week 2

Cardinals, J.J. Watt

Arizona Cardinals star EDGE rusher J.J. Watt was sidelined during the season-opening loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he made some steps towards a potential return ahead of Week 2. Per Josh Weinfuss, Watt returned to practice on Thursday for the first time this week as he continues to nurse a calf injury. The 33-year-old is hoping to make his season debut against the Raiders on Sunday, and getting back on the practice field on Thursday indicates there’s a chance he’ll be ready to go come the weekend.

Watt was not at practice on Wednesday for the Cardinals, so seeing him back out on the field on Thursday is an encouraging sign.

Last season, Watt saw his first year with the Cardinals cut short due to injury. He featured in seven games for the team, recording 1.0 sacks, 16 tackles, and 10 QB hits before missing the remainder of the season due to a shoulder issue.

Injuries have plagued Watt throughout the latter part of his career, and it’s been no different since he latched on with the Cardinals. After getting humbled by the Chiefs in Week 1, the Cardinals’ defense could surely use a boost like the return of Watt ahead of their clash with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Veteran tight end Zach Ertz, like Watt, was out of practice on Wednesday, but he was seen back on the field on Thursday, too. Ertz is also dealing with a calf injury, though he was able to play against the Chiefs in the season opener.