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The Arizona Cardinals stumbled a bit to the finish line in 2021, but they still have a chance to make a Super Bowl run. Kliff Kingsbury and Co. are expected to return an important piece on defense, as the Cardinals announced on Friday that they had designated star defensive end J.J. Watt to return from injured reserve.

This opens a 21-day practice window for Watt, and he can be activated to the 53-man roster any time. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Watt is attempting to return to the field during the first week of the playoffs. 

Watt suffered a serious shoulder injury in his revenge game against the Houston Texans on Oct. 24. Per Rapoport, Watt tore his labrum, his bicep, and his rotator cuff along with dislocating his shoulder. It was thought to be a season-ending injury, but Watt has fought through painful injuries before. Back in 2019, he returned for the playoffs with the Texans after suffering a torn pec. 

In seven games played this season, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has recorded 16 combined tackles, one sack and 10 quarterback hits. This offseason, he signed a two-year deal worth $31 million with the Cardinals after 10 seasons in Houston.