The Pittsburgh Steelers have sorely missed T.J. Watt since he left the Week 1 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals with a pectoral injury. To be more specific, the team hasn’t won a game without Watt.
So, yeah, getting Watt back in the lineup is important to the success of the Steelers.
With Watt on Injured Reserve (IR), the minimum amount of time he would miss is four weeks. This would be prior to the Week 6 home game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While even the most optimistic fan believed that to be a crazy turnaround, reports are circulating now Watt won’t be back as soon as possible. However, the reason for his delayed return isn’t due to the pectoral injury sustained while tackling Joe Burrow in Week 1, it’s reportedly due to Watt undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
This per Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Pittsburgh’s reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery that now is likely to delay his return by another week or two, sources told @bepryor and me.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 9, 2022
More on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and here:https://t.co/zyVaQApO8U
According to the report, Watt already underwent the knee surgery, and it was to clean up an injury sustained in the preseason which lingered into the regular season. Fans who watched the preseason might remember Watt being blocked low in the Detroit Lions preseason finale and leaving the game.
The report didn’t state this was indeed the knee, and injury, which caused the need for surgery, but it certainly would make sense.
How long will this push Watt’s return back? Sources told ESPN just a week or two.
But the knee surgery likely will push back Watt’s return by at least another week or two, according to sources, meaning the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year now might not return until after the Steelers’ bye in Week 9. Pittsburgh hosts the Saints in Week 10 before a Week 11 road game against the Colts on Monday Night Football.
The Steelers will want to be patient with Watt’s return, not rushing him back, but it is obvious the team needs him back if they want to salvage what is left of the 2022 season.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.