In a virtual interview with media on Saturday, Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Derek Watt confirmed he is working his way back from offseason surgery. According to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com, Watt plans to be at 100% by the Steelers’ Week 1 game on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.
FB @DerekWatt34 said via zoom he had an offseason procedure and he is working his way back and the plan is for him to be ready to go for Week 1 vs. the New York Giants.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) August 29, 2020
There really wasn’t much mention of Derek Watt being limited in Steelers practice until offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner mentioned his availability on Thursday in a zoom interview.
“The only time he’s ever missed is now,” Fichtner stated when asked about using Watt in the run game. It was the first time the mention of Watt dealing with an injury had come up in training camp.
Coach Fichtner went on to say that Watt had not been available during team activities.
“I realize until we get him back full, we have been just working with him in individual-type drills and things like that.”
After the statements by the Steelers offensive coordinator, Coach Tomlin was asked about Watt when he addressed the media later that day.
“Our target is opening weekend for him, so we have been thoughtful about his process,” Tomlin stated in his post-practice press conference on Thursday. “He is a guy that is coming off of a surgery. He is getting in-helmet perspective on work every day he is in uniform. We are just limiting some of the things that he does in an effort to make sure we get that daily exposure to the process. We are thoughtfully revving up his participation and it is going to increase as the days go by.”
Exactly what surgical procedure Derek Watt underwent is still unknown at this time. It isn’t even certain it had anything to do with his football career. Regardless, Watt says he has moved past it and is healed up according to Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports.
With Derek Watt being a free agent signing during the 2020 offseason, it is certain the Steelers did their due diligence in knowing his availability for the upcoming season. One of the most attractive traits for Watt is he has not missed a game in his four-year career playing in all 64 contests with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers.
Joining a new team, knowing Watt has been missing out on portions of practice is concerning. Any acclamation he can get to the Steeler system is needed, especially with the lack of preseason games.
Should Steelers fans be concerned about the health of Derek Watt moving forward? That is for them to decide. But as for both Watt and his head coach, it seems that ‘all systems go’ for his debut with the Steelers on September 14.
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