Cardinals DE J.J. Watt activated from IR ahead of wild-card game vs. Rams

J.J. Watt is back.

The Arizona Cardinals officially activated the star pass rusher ahead of Monday night's wild-card game against the Los Angeles Rams.

The return of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has been building since he returned to practice last week. Watt was limited in practices, and the Cards waited until game day to activate the defensive lineman to ensure he was healthy enough to play.

Watt suffered a torn labrum, bicep, rotator cuff and separated shoulder in late October and underwent surgery. The litany of injuries was expected to end the 32-year-old's season, but Watt pushed to get back for the postseason.

The Cardinals announced the release of cornerback Breon Borders on Sunday, clearing a roster spot for Watt to be activated Monday.

Coming back early from what was projected to be a 4-to-5 month recovery off major surgery, expect Watt to play a rotational role Monday against the Rams.

"I'm not doing all this work, and I'm not trying to come back in half the time for no reason," he said last week. "I'm here to try and do one thing, that is accomplish the ultimate goal (of a Super Bowl)."

Any help will be a godsend for the Cards' defense. With Watt in the lineup, Arizona has allowed just 16.3 points per game. Sans the star, it's given up 25.2 points per game.

Watt generated 25 QB pressures from Weeks 1-7 while compiling 16 total tackles with five tackles for loss, a sack, two pass deflections and a forced fumble.

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