The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-5 as they near the midway point of the NFL season, and they’re in great need of a pick-me-up.
Fortunately, it looks like there is a real chance that star pass rusher T.J. Watt will return to action on Sunday when the Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Steelers OLB TJ Watt says it’s “trending in that direction” he plays Sunday in Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/NqveuHt9YZ
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) October 28, 2022
Watt has been sidelined since Week 1 because of a pectoral injury, and not coincidentally, Pittsburgh’s defense has struggled.
The team ranks 22nd in points allowed, 26th in passing touchdowns allowed and 29th in passing yards allowed, although it has held its last two opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins, under 20 points.
Watt has been the heart and soul of its defense for a while, and he led the NFL last year in sacks (22.5) and tackles for loss (21) while also adding seven passes defended, five forced fumbles and 39 quarterback hits despite missing two contests.
The Eagles are the league’s last undefeated team remaining, and Watt’s presence will be needed to contain their running game, which ranks sixth in yards and first in touchdowns.
His pressure would help the Steelers prevent Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts from doing damage.
So far this season, he has totaled 293 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, while running back Miles Sanders has 485 yards and four touchdowns.
After this weekend, Pittsburgh’s schedule will be relatively manageable the rest of the way.
It has its bye next week and will play the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11 and the Baltimore Ravens twice afterward, but other than that, most of its games could be winnable if Watt returns and remains healthy.