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Cardinals actor JJ Watt emotional, upset after win vs. Panthers after heart procedure

JJ Watt was extremely emotional in North Carolina on Sunday afternoon.

After the week the Arizona Cardinals star had, especially after he leaked information from someone close to him, it’s easy to see why.

Watt revealed on Sunday morning, just hours before the Cardinals’ 26-16 win over the Carolina Panthers, that his heart had gone into atrial fibrillation earlier this week. Doctors got it back on track on Thursday and gave him permission to play.

“The only people who knew were people I had to trust,” Watt said via ESPN after the win. “And so, injuries, I don’t care. If you’re leaking injuries, whatever, that’s football. But this one was very emotional for me, so it upset me.”

An atrial fibrillation is an “irregular and often very fast heart rhythm” when the upper chambers of the heart “beat chaotic and irregularly,” according to the Mayo Clinic. 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 “weirdly” on Wednesday, prompting him to get it checked out. However, he was back in training on Friday and was allowed to play.

Although it was a terrifying experience, Watt said he was assured it was safe for him to play.

“It’s hard,” Watt said via ESPN. “My wife was by my side all the time. So that helped a lot, and then I just didn’t know what else to do. I’ve been playing this game all my life. They said I was fine. So, then my heart was reset, they said, “I’m fine. If you feel comfortable.”

“I would probably feel more uncomfortable sitting on my couch at home. You know, this is what I know. Right or wrong. Maybe that’s a mess, but if I were sitting at home watching the boys play and knowing that They said I was fine to play, I would have felt weird, so I just did what I know.”

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said he had never heard of atrial fibrillation either.

“[It was] just a scary deal for everyone,” Kingsbury said via ESPN. “But I’m glad it’s sorted out. He seems better than ever.”

Watt also seemed like his normal self during Arizona’s win at Bank of America Stadium.

The 33-year-old, who is in his second season with the Cardinals, had three tackles and made all but ten.

“It’s obviously been a very emotional week for my family, for my wife and for myself,” Watt said via ESPN. “So I’m really happy to get a win today. I’ve had a lot of emotions, of course, but I’ve learned to appreciate the little things even more, and that’s why it’s nice to win today.”

JJ Watt’s heart went into atrial fibrillation and had to be shaken back into rhythm on Thursday, just days before he took to the field in North Carolina. (AP/Jacob Kupferman)

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