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Former NFL Star J.J. Watt Shows Off Insane Physique With Shirtless Photo: ‘Progress’

Former NFL Star J.J. Watt Shows Off Insane Physique With Shirtless Photo
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

More than a year after hanging up his cleats, J.J. Watt proved he’s still very much in game shape.

The retired NFL star, 35, showed off his shredded physique in a post-workout picture posted via X on Monday, July 8.

“Progress,” Watt captioned the impressive snap. 

Watt played in the final game of his 12-year career in January 2023, but the recent image had fans of the future Hall of Famer calling for a comeback. 

“Just unretire already lol,” one person commented on the post. Another wrote, “And we aren’t supposed to believe you’re going to play again????”

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Former Detroit Lions quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky had some fun with the picture, commenting, “Meanwhile I look like Gumby.”

After playing the first 10 years of his career with the Houston Texans, Watt signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals in March 2021. 

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year announced his retirement in December 2022, less than three months after he went into Atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat, and had to have his heart shocked back into rhythm. 

Upon announcing his retirement, Watt listed the cardiac issue as one of his reasons for stepping away from the game.

Former NFL Star J.J. Watt Shows Off Insane Physique With Shirtless Photo
Courtesy of J.J. Watt/X

“The losses are very tough to take. You live with the highs and the lows, and I’ve always said that I’d way rather live with the highs and the lows than never know in the middle,” Watt said in a press conference. “I’ve got a son now. Obviously, I had a heart scare in the middle of the year, so there’s certainly some of that that played into it. But I’m very happy and am very at peace with it.”

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Watt and wife Kealia Ohai Watt, whom he married in February 2020, welcomed son Koa in October 2022. 

“I’ve known for a little while. It’s the right time,” Watt further said about his retirement. “It feels like the right time. I’ve put so much into the game and the wins and the losses, the mental stress and passion that comes with it, it just weighs on you. It’s heavy, I mean it’s really heavy.”

Post-retirement, Watt joined CBS’ NFL Today as a studio analyst, a job he’ll return to when the 2024 season kicks off this fall. 

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