Arizona Cardinals defensive end player J.J. Watt recently admitted he was experiencing irregular heart rhythms, but won’t let it keep him off the field.
When the 33-year-old was placed on the Cardinals’ injury list under “questionable” circumstances, fans began speculating what the issue could be. Before anyone could jump to conclusions about his health, the football player took to Twitter and shared that he recently underwent treatment for atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat.
“I was just told somebody leaked some personal information about me and it’s going to be reported on today,” Watt wrote on Twitter. “I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday and I’m playing today. That’s it.”
Since atrial fibrillation is an irregular and typically rapid heartbeat, the disease runs the risk of causing blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. Although the condition is frightening, Watt was happy to report that having family by his side helped ease his troubles.
J.J. Watt discusses his decision to play in game against the Panthers, despite his heart condition
“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,” the NFL player told reporters following his game against the Carolina Panthers. “So, once my heart was reset, they said, ‘You’re fine. If you feel comfortable.'”
Watt also shared in the press conference that there was never a moment where he wanted to be benched, despite his health scare. “I’d probably be more uncomfortable sitting on my couch at home,” he admitted. “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.”
Furthermore, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury took special note of the defensive player’s dedication to the game. “Shows you what type of person and competitor, human being he is,” Kingsbury said of Watt. “He’s special and we were all obviously worried when he wasn’t around for a couple of days getting the tests run and handling that, but I think it was definitely inspiring for all of us and he played at a really high level and he just continues to amaze, the type of person and player he is.”
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