Getty Images

The final two games of the Arizona Cardinals' season will see a great wave of adulation and respect toward defensive end J.J. Watt, who will bring his legendary career to a close and retire at the end of the year. Many of the homages that will be paid toward the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and one of the great pass rushers of his generation will come from within the Cardinals' locker room, and some of it already started from rookie Jesse Luketa -- albeit in a way he may not have intended.

Speaking to the media on Thursday while discussing his decision to retire after 12 NFL seasons, Watt shared that when he checked his phone some time after his announcement, among the many messages he received was a FaceTime message from a number he did not recognize. After letting the call go to voicemail, he received a text from the same number with a voice memo that was extremely amusing.

"So I played the voicemail, and -- I wish I could play it so bad, I'm gonna ask him if I can later, I don't want to now -- and it is like incoherent, complete incoherence," Watt said. "And I'm like, 'What the hell is this?' I literally thought it was distorted from the phone.

"So 10 seconds later, a picture comes through and it's Jesse Luketa, our rookie outside linebacker, and he has cotton balls in both (sides of) his mouth. He just got his wisdom teeth out. He's high off his ass, he has no clue what he's doing. And in the message, it says, 'J.J., I just heard you're retiring, all I want is a jersey at the end of the season.' But it is incoherent. Beyond incoherent. I listened to it 10 times to understand what he was saying."

Watt ended up FaceTiming Luketa back, but it took Luketa much longer to come down from the high of anesthesia and come back to his senses.

"I'm like, 'Jesse, what are you doing?' He's like, 'I just want a jersey'. He can't speak whatsoever. And then like four hours later I get a text from Jesse, he goes, 'I still want that jersey, man, but I'm sorry for the call. They had literally just told me when I woke up from the anesthesia that you're retiring.'"

One day later, Luketa got exactly what he wanted: a jersey signed by Watt with a personalized message: "Your story inspires me brother. I appreciate you! (And thanks for the laughs!)"

Luketa, who was a seventh-round pick by the Cardinals while also being chosen in the second round of the CFL Draft, has appeared in five games this season and has been credited with one tackle while playing limited reps on defense and special teams. Meanwhile, Watt is enjoying a resurgent season to close his career, as his total of 9.5 sacks is the most he's had since recording 16 in 2018.