The hottest defensive line duo the Arizona Cardinals have had in recent memory is getting started. One has arrived at training camp, the other is present but not practicing quite yet.
Defensive ends J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones are expected to be an awesome force for Arizona come the 2021 season. But for the time being, only one half is putting reps in as Cardinals training camp continues.
Jones participated both Tuesday and Wednesday, but Watt was absent due to a slight pull of the hamstring per Darren Urban.
J.J. Watt didn’t practice Wednesday. He said he tweaked his hamstring during Tuesday’s run test. Won’t practice tomorrow either.
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) July 28, 2021
Fortunately, it is nothing significant as Watt has still emphasized his excitement for the new season. Talk to the Bird Gang’s fans enough and one will notice how often Watt and Jones are always spoken in the same sentence. But that still doesn’t stop the rumors surround Jones and his supposed trade request.
Yet, Jones is in camp regardless, and from what has been seen so far, looks like wearing Cardinals red is still the plan. After all, there has to be a pretty convincing argument to not play alongside J.J. Watt.
A healthy Chandler Jones looking a lot like his 2019 self today. pic.twitter.com/YxEcAkcXPZ
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) July 28, 2021
Furthermore, there is a pretty big difference between playing the season without Jones versus playing 2021 without Larry Fitzgerald who has yet to show up. Fitzgerald’s impact is much more emotional at this point than productive compared to Jones.
But training camp has barely begun, and for the time being, Watt and Jones are still in the Valley. Yet, that final year of Jones’ contract will still loom regardless. The three-time Pro Bowler has done plentiful to earn more money over the year since coming to Arizona.
If a contract extension is in order, Cardinals fans are likely hoping it is done soon. It wouldn’t be a great look on the front office if Jones leaves and the Cardinals still aren’t a strong playoff contender.
Madden 22 may simply be a game, but player ratings still mean a lot to some players. And if Watt and Jones haven’t seen their ratings yet, they will hopefully be pleased when they do.
As the premier football video game series continues its player ratings countdown, the pass rush duo is now out with an appropriate rating worthy of their prowess.
Both defensive ends’ initial ratings for Madden 22 look solid. That mark putting the tandem among other stars like the 49ers’ Nick Bosa, a 90, and the Rams’ Aaron Donald, a 99. Quite the quality talent, particularly within the NFC West, when it comes to the defensive line.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 27, 2021
Among Jones’ best qualities over Watt in Madden are his speed, stamina, and power moves. Watt, on the other hand, has superior strength, toughness and most of all, release. Jones’ release is listed as a 15 while Watt’s is a whopping 62.
During last year’s Madden 21 release, some NFL fans believed Watt’s 98 rating at the time was too high. And that’s not even mentioning Chandler Jones is practically unchanged from a year ago. Now both he and Watt are on equal footing, at least from an overall standpoint.
Of course, both men are capable of silencing any criticism that may come from these new ratings.
Watt, despite the messiness of the 2020 Texans, still put up 52 tackles, five sacks and even got an interception. Jones was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, making 53 tackles and a career-high 19 sacks.
Both men have the resumes, now they just need to make the magic happen for the Red Sea.
Featured Image courtesy of Ross D. Franklin
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