NFL Superstar JJ Watt Reveals He Had to Have Heart Shocked Back Into Rhythm

NFL Superstar JJ Watt Reveals He Had to Have Heart Shocked Back Into Rhythm
Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt greets safety Budda Baker (3) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Glendale, Ariz., on Oct. 28, 2021. (Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo)
Jack Phillips

Arizona Cardinals star defensive end J.J. Watt, a former NFL Former Defensive Player of the Year, revealed that he had to receive medical treatment for his heart last week.

“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 [Sunday]," Watt wrote on Sunday, referring to atrial fibrillation—an irregular and sometimes rapid heart rhythm that can lead to blood clots in the heart. “That’s it,” he added.

Watt, 33, started for the Cardinals in the team's win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. He recorded three tackles and played most of the team's defensive snaps.

“Obviously, it’s been a very emotional week for my family, for my wife, for myself,” Watt told reporters after the game. “So, I’m very happy to get a win today. Obviously, I’ve had a lot of emotions, but I’ve learned to appreciate the little things even more, and so it’s nice to have a win today.”

Watt added that he was “upset” about the leak regarding his health issue, adding that "the only people that knew were people I should trust." That included family members and people in the Cardinal's organization, he said.

“I talked to cardiologists and electrophysiologists from all over the country,” Watt remarked about his condition. “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.”

Elaborating, Watt said he experienced strange symptoms a day before he received treatment. When he asked doctors, they couldn't tell him why the atrial fibrillation occurred.

Watt signed a two-year, $28 million contract with Arizona last year.

Atrial fibrillation is classified as an “irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm” when the upper heart chambers “beat chaotically and irregularly," according to the Mayo Clinic. Other than blood clots, the condition can increase the risk of stroke and heart failure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not list cardiac arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, as a possible side effect of COVID-19 vaccines. Ongoing monitoring has suggested that mRNA vaccines are linked to instances of heart complications such as myocarditis and pericarditis.
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