cardinals jj watt emotional talking about heart issue im happy to be here

Arizona Cardinals star J.J. Watt was emotional at his postgame press conference on Sunday following the team’s victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Watt played in the game despite revealing he needed his heart shocked back into rhythm earlier in the week. He talked about how he and his wife, soccer star Kealia Watt, have been looking at ultrasound photos of their son and contrasting it with pictures of the NFL player’s heart.

“It’s been a week. I’m happy to be here. Happy to. …” he said as his voice trailed off.

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Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Watt said before the game his heart went into atrial fibrillation.

“I talked to cardiologists and electrophysiologists from all over the country. I was assured multiple times from multiple people that there was nothing else you could do. I could play like normal and something could happen the next day or never again in 20 years. So I was assured, and I went back to practice on Friday and here we are,” he said.

“Obviously it’s been a very emotional week for me and my family — for my wife and for myself.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, atrial fibrillation is “an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart.” It could increase the risk of stroke, heart failure or other heart-related complications if not addressed.

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Watt said he heard the news of his heart issue was going to be reported which is why he preemptively sent out a tweet hours before kickoff.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt plays against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt plays against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

“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. That’s it,” he tweeted.

The Cardinals won the game. Watt had a pass deflection that led to an interception along with three tackles.

He said he did not know what caused the irregular heartbeat.

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Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt, #99, is shown before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. 

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt, #99, is shown before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

“I’ve had, obviously, surgeries before and injuries before,” he added. “And I’ve never been nervous for any of them. I’ve never been scared of anesthesia. I’ve never been scared of pain. But when they told me they were going to put me out and shock my heart, I was scared.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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