TJ Watt being evaluated for an upper body injury – WTAE Pittsburgh

TJ Watt being evaluated for an upper body injury - WTAE Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense started the season Sunday looking like a vulture force, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt was the main disruptor. Then Watt went off injured in the fourth quarter, his left arm hanging limply on this side, casting serious doubt. on when could Pittsburgh look so formidable again. Watt suffered a chest injury in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Steelers did not provide many details after the game. Coach Mike Tomlin said only that “TJ was 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 made a determination as to whether or not he needs surgery. The 27-year-old Watt was injured in the waning minutes of regulation. He ran past Cincinnati right tackle La’el Collins — ripping Collins’ helmet off in the process, a penalty that gave the Bengals a first down — and then jumped on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow ducked under Watt and managed to remove the ball, and Watt’s left arm remained motionless as Burrow escaped his grasp. Watt was greeted by Dr. James Bradley, the team physician, as he made his way off the field. He went straight to the locker room and did not return. Pittsburgh then ended a three-game losing streak to the Bengals in the final game 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 assessment on Monday. “I’m not going to speculate what’s going on and how bad the injury is,” defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “But you know having TJ there sure helps us. He is a leader. He is a defensive player here. As long as it takes, other guys will step up.” One of the NFL’s elite edge rushers, Watt was at his disruptive best in Cincinnati, sacking Burrow once and picking off a pass in the first quarter that set up Mitch Trubisky’s 2 .yard TD 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 their defense to try to get their offense on track. Watt tied the NFL single-season sacks record with 22 1/2 last season despite missing two games. If Watt had torn his pectoral muscle, he likely would have missed extended time and possibly the season. His older brother JJ Watt tore a hamstring in the middle of the 2019 season while playing for Texas and missed two months. Heyward, his longtime teammate, missed the second half of the 2016 season after tearing a hamstring, and former Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt missed the final 10 games of the 2019 season after tearing a hamstring in a win over the clays The Steelers are thin. behind Watt at outside linebacker. Alex Highsmith — who also left Sunday’s game 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 off waivers. on Sept. 1 after he was released from Jacksonville a day earlier. Jones spent a few months with Pittsburgh in 2021 before being released last September. Jones and Reed got three combined tackles against the Bengals. Watt has been durable throughout 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 may need to accelerate the learning curve. That could be difficult without Harris, who left in the fourth quarter after injuring his left foot. The foot was heavily wrapped after the game. Backup Jaylen Warren, who won the job after a stellar training camp, ran for 7 yards on three carries in his NFL debut. The Steelers host New England (0-1) next Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense started the season on Sunday looking like a vulture force, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt was the main disruptor.

Then Watt left injured in the fourth quarter, his left arm hanging limply on this side, casting serious doubt on when Pittsburgh might look so formidable again.

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

The Steelers did not provide many details after the game. Coach Mike Tomlin said only that “TJ was evaluated with an upper-body injury.”

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

The 27-year-old Watt was injured in the waning minutes of regulation. He bull-rushed his way past Cincinnati right tackle La’el Collins — tearing Collins’ helmet off in the process, a penalty that gave the Bengals a first down — and then jumped on top of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow ducked under Watt and managed to get the ball away, and Watt’s left arm became immobile as Burrow escaped his grasp.

Watt was greeted by Dr. James Bradley, the team physician, as he walked 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.

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

“I’m not going to speculate what’s going on and how bad the injury is,” defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. “But you know having TJ there sure helps us. He is a leader. He is a defensive player here. However long it takes, other guys will step up.”

One of the NFL’s elite edge rushers, Watt was at his disruptive best in Cincinnati, sacking Burrow once and picking off a first-quarter pass that set up Mitch Trubisky’s 2-yard TD 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 their defense while trying to get their offense on track. Watt tied the NFL single-season sack record with 22 1/2 last season despite missing two games.

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

The Steelers are thin behind Watt at outside linebacker. Alex Highsmith — who also left Sunday’s game 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 off waivers on Sept. 1 after he was released from Jacksonville 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 throughout 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 may need to accelerate the learning curve.

That could be difficult without Harris, who left in the fourth quarter after injuring his left foot. The foot was heavily wrapped after the game. Backup Jaylen Warren, who won the job after a stellar training camp, ran for 7 yards on three carries in his NFL debut.

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

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