J.J. Watt was extremely emotional on Sunday afternoon in North Carolina.
After the week the Arizona Cardinals star had, especially after seeing information leaked by somebody close to him, it’s easy to understand why.
Watt revealed on Sunday morning, just hours ahead of the Cardinals' 26-16 win over the Carolina Panthers, that his heart had gone into atrial fibrillation earlier in the week. Doctors then shocked it back into rhythm on Thursday, and cleared him to play.
I was just told somebody leaked some personal information about me and it’s going to be reported on today.
I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) October 2, 2022
"The only people that knew were people I should trust," Watt said after the win, via ESPN. "And, so, injuries, I don't care. If you leak injuries, whatever, that's football. But this one was very emotional for me, so it upset me."
An atrial fibrillation, according to the Mayo Clinic, is an “irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm” when the upper chambers of the heart “beat chaotically and irregularly.” This can lead to blood clots in the heart and increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and more.
Watt said his heart started beating “weird” on Wednesday, which prompted him to get it checked out. By Friday, though, he was back at practice and was cleared to play.
JJ Watt emotional talking playing after heart shocked back into rhythm this week. Said he was assured by specialists he was fine to play pic.twitter.com/owiAri8I2c
— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) October 2, 2022
While it was a terrifying experience, Watt said he was assured that it was safe for him to play.
"It's tough," Watt said, via ESPN. "My wife was by my side all the time. So, that helped a lot, and then, just, I didn't know what else to do. I have been playing this game my whole life. They said I was fine. So, once my heart was reset, they said, 'You're fine. If you feel comfortable.'
"I'd probably be more uncomfortable sitting on my couch at home. You know, this is what I know. Right or wrong. Maybe that's messed up, but if I was sitting at home watching the boys play and knowing that they said I was perfectly fine to play, I would have felt weird, so, I just did what I know."
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said he hadn’t heard of an atrial fibrillation before now, either.
“[It was] just a scary deal for everybody,” Kingsbury said, via ESPN. “But I’m glad it got figured out. He seems better than ever.”
Watt seemed like his normal self during Arizona's win at Bank of America Stadium, too.
The 33-year-old, who is in his second season with the Cardinals, had three tackles and played in all but 10 defensive snaps.
"Obviously, it's been a very emotional week for my family, for my wife, for myself," Watt said, via ESPN. "So, I'm very happy to get a win today. Obviously, I've had a lot of emotions, but I've learned to appreciate the little things even more, and so it's nice to have a win today."