The Packers will not be the only ones missing key personnel for Thursday night’s NFC showdown. The Cardinals will be without J.J. Watt. Arizona ruled out Watt with a shoulder injury. Watt did not practice this week.
Watt has thus far delivered on the big-ticket deal he signed to relocate to Arizona, helping the Cardinals to their first 7-0 start since 1974 and playing a central role in the team ranking in the top five in scoring and total defense. The 32-year-old defender has played inside and outside for the Cardinals, who signed him to a two-year, $28MM deal this offseason. Pro Football Focus ranks Watt as a top-10 interior D-lineman through seven games.
But injuries have certainly been an issue for the all-time great. Another one will sideline him for the Cards’ Week 8 tilt. Injuries in 2016 and ’17 interrupted Watt’s stratospheric pace, and although the three-time Defensive Player of the Year returned to an All-Pro level in 2018, the former Texans superstar missed a chunk of the 2019 season as well. From 2016-19, Watt missed 32 games. Thursday will be his first absence since that 2019 season, however.
Green Bay will be down Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, with both landing on the team’s COVID list. The Packers could activate All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, who returned to practice last week. Giving the veteran blocker an extra 10 days to come off the PUP list would make sense as well.
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