Defensive end JJ Watt needs shoulder surgery and the Arizona Cardinals do not expect to return to the field this season, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Watt was disqualified from Thursday night’s Cardinals game against the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, but the shoulder injury he sustained last week was worse than previously thought.
Arizona State listed Watt as not participating in practice all week due to a shoulder injury.
ESPN reported that no surgery was scheduled for the 32-year-old, but described it as a “potentially season-ending” operation.
In his first season with the Cardinal after 10 years in Houston, Watt started the first seven games of the season and scored 16 tackles, 10 quarterbacks, a sack and a forced fumble.
Watt has 102 career sacks, and was a five-time All-Pro Defensive Player of the Year three times with the Texans.
He played only 30 defensive shots in Week 7 against his former team on Sunday before the estimated injury report came out in Arizona the following day.
Suddenly, undefeated Arizona is mired in injuries to key players.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, like Watt, has been flagged as a “DNP” all week with a hamstring injury. However, Hopkins is listed as dubious on Thursday night.
On the Green Bay side, handling Dennis Kelly (back) was a limited participant in Wednesday’s training but questionable for the match. Buck’s corner Kevin King (shoulder and back) and fullback Preston Smith (slashes) are questionable.
The Cardinals 7-0, the last undefeated team in the NFL, host the 6-1 Packers.