Since signing a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, defensive end J.J. Watt has dealt with various health issues. On Oct. 27, 2021, several reports stated the 33-year-old Wisconsin native would require season-ending shoulder surgery. Nevertheless, he returned in January for the Cardinals' NFC wild-card playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Regarding the 2022 NFL season, J.J. recently endured a life-threatening experience after going into atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and having his "heart shocked back into rhythm." While many fans sent well wishes to the star athlete, others wondered: Is J.J. Watt vaccinated? Keep reading to find out.
So, is J.J. Watt vaccinated?
As of now, J.J. Watt has not explicitly said he's vaccinated. However, Forbes previously reported that "all evidence strongly suggests" he is since the three-time defensive player of the year is on a 100 percent fully vaccinated team.
Despite his vaccination status, J.J. tested positive for COVID-19 in August 2022. He missed the Cardinals preseason games but made his 2022 season debut during the team's week two match-up against the Las Vegas Raiders. Since then, he's been pretty healthy for the most part ... until he suddenly went into A-Fib ahead of the fourth week of competition.
J.J. revealed he went into A-fib and had his "heart shocked back into rhythm."
On. Oct. 2, the five-time Pro Bowler took to Twitter to discuss his health.
"I was just told somebody leaked some personal information about me, and it’s going to be reported on today," J.J. tweeted. "I went into A-Fib on Wednesday, had my heart shocked back into rhythm on Thursday, and I’m playing today. That's it."
Following the Cardinals' 26-16 win against the Carolina Panthers — in which J.J. finished the game with three total tackles — the seven-time All-Pro addressed the situation and assured reporters that medical professionals told him it was safe to play.
"On Wednesday, my heart was beating weird, got it checked out, got A-fibbed so they can shock it back to rhythm," J.J. told the press. "[I] talked to cardiologists, electrophysiologists from all over the country."
He added, "I was assured multiple times from multiple people that there's nothing else you can do, and I can go back and play like normal. [They] said it can happen again the next day, or it could happen never again the next 20 years. So I was assured multiple times, so I went back to practice Friday, practiced, and here we are."
Is A-fib considered a heart attack?
According to the Mayo Clinic, A-fib and heart attacks are two separate conditions.
The medical outlet noted that although A-fib "can cause chest pain and other symptoms that are similar to a heart attack," it doesn't lead to a heart attack. Additionally, the risk of having a heart attack is "not increased due to atrial fibrillation."
Typically, a heart attack can cause A-fib because, per the Mayo Clinic, "If a coronary artery involved in the heart attack normally supplies blood to the atria, the lack of blood flow may damage the atrial tissue, and atrial fibrillation can result."
Even though the risk of a heart attack is not affected, there is a higher chance of encountering other complications such as a stroke or heart failure.