J.J. Watt says he had heart zapped 3 days ago, but played vs. Panthers

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt will play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, despite a heart issue he experienced earlier in the week.

Watt announced the situation on social media Sunday morning:

According to the Mayo Clinic, atrial fibrillation (or A-fib), is an irregular and rapid heartbeat:

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart. A-fib increases the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of sync with the lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. For many people, A-fib may have no symptoms. However, A-fib may cause a fast, pounding heartbeat (palpitations), shortness of breath or weakness.

As Watt indicated, the condition can be managed via therapy to “reset the heart rhythm.” However, it still comes with risks, as noted by the Mayo Clinic:

Episodes of atrial fibrillation may come and go, or they may be persistent. Although A-fib itself usually isn’t life-threatening, it’s a serious medical condition that requires proper treatment to prevent stroke.

Last season, Watt missed ten games after suffering a severe upper-body injury. During Arizona’s game against the Houston Texans in 2021, Watt suffered a shoulder dislocation, a torn labrum, a bicep tear and a torn rotator cuff. He missed ten games, but returned to the field for Arizona’s Wild-Card game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Watt notched three tackles in his return to the field that night.

Arizona takes on the Panthers in Carolina this Sunday, hoping to get their second win of the season. Watt was inactive for Arizona’s season-opening loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He returned to the field for Week 2, recording a sack in Arizona’s victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Watt recorded his second sack of the season last week in the Cardinals’ loss to the Rams.

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