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Steve Keim: Still 'Possibility' J.J. Watt Returns

GM says miscommunication on late interception is 'learning lesson'

The future of J.J. Watt would seem to almost assuredly include surgery. Kliff Kingsbury said as much Thursday night.

But GM Steve Keim, during an appearance on the "Burns and Gambo" show Friday on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station, said that the veteran defensive end was consulting with additional specialists, and at this point, Keim would not rule out a return in 2021.

"I know surgery is an option, but at the same time I think there are some things that are possibly put in place where we want to play this thing out with a little bit more time and see how he responds," Keim said. "To me, if there is anybody who can bounce back and can do it, it's J.J. Watt."

"As far as I know, there is a possibility (of return)," Keim added. "I don't want to rule that out yet. I'm not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express."

With Corey Peters and Rashard Lawrence returning, Keim said the Cards have pieces to help with the defensive line. As for a potential trade, Keim said what he always does -- he would not close the door on an opportunity if it came up. "We're always open for business."

-- Keim didn't have any more details about the final mixup between Kyler Murray and A.J Green on the interception Thursday night.

"A.J. Green is an absolute, consummate professional," Keim said. "Whether it was him or Kyler or miscommunication, the bottom line is those guys have been exceptional pros and great players. They are going to get that fixed. To me it's a learning lesson. There is nobody who is going to be harder on A.J. Green or Kyler than themselves. ... I have too much respect for those guys to point fingers."

-- He said the Cardinals will be smart with DeAndre Hopkins, but ultimately, they defer to the wide receiver when it comes to his injuries. "He is the only one who knows his body," Keim said.

-- Keim was asked about the struggles of young right guard Josh Jones. He said Jones gave up an early pressure but after that "he actually settled in and played pretty good."

-- Keim lamented the three turnovers and the tackling. "There was too much leaky yardage with them running the football," he said. "We were on the field too long, too many yards after contact."

-- Keim said he had "no doubt" with Murray and the playmakers the Cardinals have and the offensive line playing better as the game went on that the team would go 99 yards to score the winning touchdown, and while it didn't happen, "to be in position to win that game at the end says a lot about our ability to handle adversity."

GM Steve Keim before a game in 2021