Pittsburgh Steelers TJ Watt being evaluated for pectoral injury

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense began the season Sunday looking like a vulture force, with reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt being the main disruptor. Then Watt was injured in the fourth quarter, his left arm hanging limply to this side, raising serious questions. about when Pittsburgh might look so scary again. Watt suffered a pectoral injury in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Steelers didn’t provide many details after the game. Coach Mike Tomlin only said that “TJ has been evaluated with an upper body injury.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Watt is expected to get second and third medical opinions. Doctors have not yet determined if he needs surgery or not. The 27-year-old Watt was injured in the final minutes of regulation time. He bulldozed his way past Cincinnati right tackle La’el Collins, ripping his helmet off in the process, a penalty that gave the Bengals a first down, and then jumped on the Bengals’ quarterback, Joe Burrow. Burrow ducked under Watt and managed to take the ball away from him, and Watt’s left arm froze as Burrow evaded Watt’s grasp. off the field. He went straight to the locker room and didn’t come back. Pittsburgh later ended a three-game losing streak to the Bengals on the final play of overtime. he was in the locker room. He is expecting ted to undergo further tests and evaluations on Monday. “I’m not going to speculate what’s going on and how serious the injury is,” defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “But you know having TJ around definitely benefits us. He is a leader. He is a defensive player here. No matter how long he takes, other guys are going to step up.” Watt, one of the elite running backs in the NFL, was at his most disruptive in Cincinnati, sacking Burrow once and intercepting a pass in the first quarter that set up Mitch Trubisky’s 2-. He passed a yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris to give Pittsburgh a 17-3 lead. Losing Watt would be a huge blow to the Steelers, who will have to rely on him on defense as they try to get their offense back on track. Watt tied the NFL single-season record for sacks with 22 1/2 last season despite missing two games. If Watt were to tear his pectoral muscle, he would likely miss a long time and possibly the season. His older brother, JJ Watt, tore a pectoral midway through the 2019 season while playing for Texas and missed two months. Heyward, his former teammate, missed the second half of the 2016 season after tearing a pec, and former Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt missed the final 10 games of the 2019 season after tearing a pec. in a win over the Chargers. The Steelers are thin behind Watt at outside linebacker. Alex Highsmith, who also left the game Sunday with an injury, is the only other outside linebacker on the roster who has spent extended time in Pittsburgh. The Steelers acquired backup Malik Reed in a trade with Denver last month and claimed Jamir Jones on waivers. on September 1 after Jacksonville released him a day earlier. Jones spent a few months with Pittsburgh in 2021 before being released last September. Jones and Reed were credited with a combined three tackles against the Bengals. Watt has been durable during his five-year career, missing just three games due to injury. With him, the Steelers have a defense with elite players at all three levels in Watt, Heyward and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Without him, Pittsburgh’s offense under first-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky might need to speed up the learning curve. That could be tough without Harris, who left in the fourth quarter after injuring his left foot. His foot was very wrapped up after the game. Backup Jaylen Warren, who earned the job after a stellar training camp, rushed for 7 yards on three carries in his NFL debut. The Steelers host New England (0-1) next Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense began the season Sunday looking like a ravenous force, with reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt being the main disruptor.

Watt then went off injured in the fourth quarter, his left arm hanging limply at this side, raising serious questions about when Pittsburgh could look so fearsome again.

Watt suffered a pectoral injury in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 win in overtime over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The Steelers didn’t provide many details after the game. Coach Mike Tomlin only said that “TJ has been evaluated with an upper body injury.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Watt is expected to get second and third medical opinions. Doctors have not yet determined if he needs surgery or not.

Watt, 27, was injured in the final minutes of regulation time. He bulldozed his way past Cincinnati right tackle La’el Collins, ripping his helmet off in the process, a penalty that gave the Bengals a first down, and then jumped on the Bengals’ quarterback, Joe Burrow. Burrow ducked under Watt and managed to flick the ball away, and Watt’s left arm froze as Burrow evaded his grasp.

Watt was greeted by Dr. James Bradley, the team’s physician, as he walked off the field. He went straight to the locker room and didn’t come back. Pittsburgh then ended a three-game losing streak to the Bengals on the final play of overtime.

The three-time All-Pro did not address reporters after the game, although he was in the locker room. He is expected to undergo further tests and evaluations on Monday.

“I’m not going to speculate what’s going on and how serious the injury is,” defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “But you know having TJ around definitely benefits us. He is a leader. He is a defensive player here. No matter how long he takes, other guys are going to step up.”

Watt, one of the NFL’s elite running backs, was at his disruptive best in Cincinnati, sacking Burrow once and intercepting a pass in the first quarter that set up Mitch Trubisky’s 2-yard TD pass to Najee Harris for give Pittsburgh a 17-3 lead. .

Losing Watt would be a huge blow to the Steelers, who will have to rely on their defense as they try to get their offense back on track. Watt tied the NFL single-season sack record with 22 1/2 last season despite missing two games.

If Watt tore his pectoral muscle, he would likely miss an extended amount of time and possibly the season. His older brother, JJ Watt, tore a pectoral midway through the 2019 season while playing for Texas and missed two months. Heyward, his former teammate, missed the second half of the 2016 season after tearing a pec, and former Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt missed the final 10 games of the 2019 season after tearing a pec. in a win over the Chargers.

The Steelers are thin behind Watt at outside linebacker. Alex Highsmith, who also left the game Sunday with an injury, is the only other outside linebacker on the roster who has spent extended time in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers acquired backup Malik Reed in a trade with Denver last month and claimed Jamir Jones from waivers on Sept. 1 after Jacksonville released him a day earlier. Jones spent a few months with Pittsburgh in 2021 before being released last September.

Jones and Reed were credited with three combined tackles against the Bengals.

Watt has been durable during his five-year career, missing just three games due to injury. With him, the Steelers have a defense with elite players at all three levels in Watt, Heyward and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Without him, Pittsburgh’s offense under first-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky might need to speed up the learning curve.

That could be tough without Harris, who left in the fourth quarter after injuring his left foot. His foot was very wrapped up after the game. Backup Jaylen Warren, who earned the job after a stellar training camp, rushed for 7 yards on three carries in his NFL debut.

The Steelers host New England (0-1) next Sunday.

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