The reigning Defensive Player of the Year checked out in overtime during their season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals while holding onto his left pectoral.
He was visibly complaining about that injury as he walked to the sidelines.
It takes a lot for a tough guy like Watt to be hampered by an injury.
Therefore, the situation didn’t look good when it happened to the Steelers’ defensive leader.
However, a recent update by NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero might have ruled out a season-ending catastrophe for Watt.
The timeline means T.J. Watt will probably land on injured reserve, though Pittsburgh has not made a move. But a day after facing a dire outlook, there is now optimism one of the NFL's best players will be back on the field by midseason. https://t.co/4iwjOynNVA
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 13, 2022
Pelissero tweeted, “#Steelers star T.J. Watt is still gathering additional opinions, but the belief is his pectoral tear will not require surgery and is not season-ending, sources tell me and @RapSheet. His exact return date depends on the healing process, but it could be before the end of October.”
He added, “The timeline means T.J. Watt will probably land on injured reserve, though Pittsburgh has not made a move. But a day after facing a dire outlook, there is now optimism one of the NFL’s best players will be back on the field by midseason.”
Steelers Defense Remains Devastating In Watt’s Absence
Without question, Pittsburgh’s defensive dynamic will change without their leading rusher.
But they still have several playmakers who can step up in his absence.
His fellow linebacker, Alex Highsmith, had three sacks against the Bengals.
Meanwhile, Larry Ogunjobi provided a much-needed boost in the defensive line, especially on run defense.
Pittsburgh also has Cameron Heyward, who had two tackles and a sack versus Cincinnati.
Finally, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ahkello Witherspoon made interceptions during that 23-20 victory.
Still, they will miss Watt as he starts his road to recovery.
However, they still have a mean defensive unit until Watt returns next month.