Steelers’ TJ Watt doesn’t appear to need surgery on pec tear, may return by end of October, according to report – CBS Sports

Steelers' TJ Watt doesn't appear to need surgery on pec tear, may return by end of October, according to report - CBS Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ worst fears may not come true. It was a bittersweet start to the year for the franchise, because it could defend the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 with an overtime win. But it came at a cost, as some players left due to injury, including star pass rusher TJ Watt. He went down with a hamstring injury in the second half, and it was reported that Watt likely suffered a torn hamstring.

A day removed from the game, however, there is a more optimistic tone surrounding the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reports that there is optimism in Pittsburgh on Monday that Watt did not experience a full tear and will be able to return after sitting out for a month or more. Monday night, NFL Media reported that the belief is that Watt will not need surgery and that he could possibly return by the end of October, depending on how quickly the injury heals.

Of course, further testing will fully determine the extent of the injury and a clearer timetable, but this is much more encouraging news than how ominous things seemed to be right off the bat from Sunday.

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Before leaving with the injury, Watt was his typical dominant self, tallying six tackles (three for loss), a sack, and an interception as Pittsburgh’s defense did a good job against Joe Burrow. The Bengals quarterback was sacked a total of seven times and was forced into four interceptions and one fumble. Watt is coming off a 2021 season where he tied the single-season sack record with 22.5.

“Having TJ in there definitely helps us,” Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward said of Watt’s impact after Sunday’s win. “He’s a leader. He’s the defensive player of the year. However long it takes, other guys have to step up. Alex [Highsmith] walked pretty well today. Malik and Jamir [Jones] is coming We had to do some different things there. We’re rallying around him, and when he comes back, we’ll be ready.”

During the next month, the Steelers are scheduled to host the Patriots in Week 2, visit the Browns in Week 3, play the Jets at Acrisure Stadium in Week 4, and take on the Invoices in Buffalo in Week 5. If Watt sits for just a month, that could be the window of games he misses with a return against the pirates in Week 6 on October 16 as a possible resale date.

Again, a clearer timetable for his possible return and a true measure of the severity of the injury should be found out in the coming days.

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