Compared to previous Wild Card Weekends, the opening round of this year’s NFL playoffs will look a bit different with two games scheduled for Saturday (4:30 and 8:15 PM ET), followed by three more Sunday (1:00, 4:30 and 8:15) and a Monday night finale between the Rams and Cardinals on ESPN and ABC (8:15).
Old habits die hard—who among us hasn’t mistakenly called the Raiders “Oakland” instead of Las Vegas at some point in the past two years? When a reporter had a Freudian slip at Wednesday’s press availability, asking J.J. Watt about his availability for Sunday’s game against the Rams, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year quickly interjected, reminding him the Cardinals don’t play on Sunday.
Watt going out of his way to correct a reporter’s harmless mistake is reminiscent of a joke from John Mulaney’s last standup special, when he described that kid at every sleepover who felt a compulsive need to point out midnight is technically a new day (“Get out of here with your facts!”). The 32-year-old was believed to be lost for the season after suffering a torn bicep two months ago. However, Watt is expected to resume practicing this week and, depending on how he looks, could be in uniform for Monday night’s playoff opener at SoFi Stadium.
Watt, who joined Arizona on a two-year contract last offseason, is tied with Baltimore’s Justin Houston for fourth among active players in career sacks (102). Monday in Los Angeles will be the Cardinals’ first playoff game in almost six years.