Pittsburgh Steelers Receive Good News About TJ Watt’s Injury Diagnosis

by Nick Geddes

There was concern that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt would miss the remainder of the 2022 NFL season after suffering an injury in the Week 1 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers and Watt, however, have dodged a bullet. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, TJ Watt did indeed tear his pectoral muscle, but did not tear the tendon. Watt will not require surgery and could return after about six weeks of rehab.

It’s why TJ Watt went to Twitter Tuesday to declare he’d be back — Terminator style.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin provided an update Tuesday on Watt’s status.

“We’re probably in a lot better place than we were after the game,” Tomlin said, via ESPN. “… I can definitively say that TJ won’t play this week [against the New England Patriots], but I won’t make any commitments beyond that. “We’re encouraged, and we’ll just continue to look at the situation and gain opinions and do what’s appropriate.”

Tomlin was non-committal when asked if Watt would be placed on injured reserve. If Watt goes on injured reserve, he would be forced to sit out a minimum of four games.

“We got time to make decisions such as that, IR decisions that have to be made by the end of the week relative to this game being a counter,” Tomlin said. “… We’re not in a hurry to gather information too quickly. We’ll see how his body responds. We’ll get second and third opinions. And at the end of the week, or at some point we’ll do what’s appropriate.”

Steelers Win the Game, Lose Star Pass Rusher in TJ Watt

The reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year suffered the injury during overtime of the 23-20 victory over the Bengals. Those watching at home were able to read Watt’s lips after coming off the field. Watt said “I tore my pec.” He exited to the locker room immediately.

Prior to the injury, TJ Watt was arguably the best player on the field for either side. Watt recorded six tackles, three for loss, a sack and an interception.

Fellow linebackers Malik Reed and Jamir Jones will be asked to step up in Watt’s absence. Reed has 15.0 sacks in his career, while Jones is looking for the first of his career.