The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the practice field on Monday as they prepare to take on the Buffalo Bills for Week 1 of the 2021 regular season. Considered a ‘bonus practice’ as the typical week would normally begin on Wednesday when the team reports to practice and are required to give a full injury report, many Steelers’ fans were looking for any change in participation of All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt. According to ESPN‘s Booke Pryor, Watt’s participation in practice on Monday was exactly how he had been handling practices throughout training camp.
TJ Watt's practice participation today was no different than training camp, Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten confirms.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 6, 2021
Watt was at every training camp practice, but worked only in individuals and was off to the side doing his own work during team periods.
Pryor also followed up this report with her belief that more information as to the status of T.J. Watt for the Steelers’ Week 1 game will be available from head coach Mike Tomlin during his press conference on Tuesday.
Expect coach Mike Tomlin to address TJ Watt's status when he talks with the media tomorrow at noon.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 6, 2021
Although many were hopeful Watt would be returning to action on Monday, there is still time for the Steelers two-time finalist for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year to get involved with practice and be available in some capacity for this Sunday’s game. Whether or not Watt plans on holding out into the regular season has not been reported at this time.
Scheduled to play on the fifth-year option exercised by the Steelers prior to the 2020 season, T.J. Watt is set to earn $10.089 million in 2021 if a new contract is not signed. With the Pittsburgh Steelers establishing their own team rules of not negotiating contracts during the season, the two sides have until this weekend to work out an agreement. If not, it is uncertain at this time how T.J. Watt will treat the 2021 NFL season.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season against the Bills in Buffalo at 1 PM this Sunday.