JJ Watt received an emotional and fitting tribute from fans of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.
Watt walked off the field at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday to a standing ovation. Watt broke down in tears when he hugged Kingsbury, Arizona’s head coach Cliff, near the end of his last NFL game.
Watt’s wife, Kealia, was in tears from her seat at the stadium. Niners tight end George Kittle was also hopping on the sidelines in celebration of Watt at one point.
Watt announced last month that he would retire after the season, ending an impressive 12-year Hall of Fame career. The 33-year-old finished his career with 586 tackles, 114.5 sacks and two interceptions in 151 games. Having won his five-time Pro Bowler and Walter Payton Man of the Year awards, he will arguably make a name for himself as one of the greatest defenders in league history.
A eulogy in Santa Clara, Calif. wasn’t the only thing Watt received on Sunday. His two brothers, who play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, arrived at Aclisure Stadium for their game against the Cleveland Browns wearing JJ Watt jerseys.
Many thanked Watt on the field after the game.
The 49ers had little trouble passing the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. They took their 10th straight win with a 38–13 victory behind three touchdowns from quarterback Brock Purdy and two from Elijah Mitchell. Meanwhile, the Cardinals finished the season with a 4-13 record.
His final season wasn’t great on the field from a team standpoint, but Watt certainly got him a well-deserved farewell.