Souring the enjoyment of a win over the Bengals is a T.J. Watt injury that could end his season just as it was getting started.
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened up their season playing their rivals and the reigning AFC Champions in the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh led Cincinnati the majority of the game, but it got close towards the end. But, the Steelers may have taken a huge hit late in the fourth quarter.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Steelers defensive lineman T.J. Watt went for a sack on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. But after the play Watt walked towards the sideline and pointed to his left armpit.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport pointed out that it appeared that Watt mouthed the words “I tore my pec.”
T.J. Watt injury update: Steelers fear torn pec that could end his season
Watt walked to the locker room and was not on the field for overtime. The Steelers officially ruled him out with a pec injury.
After the game Schefter and Rapoport both reported that the Steelers believe the injury is serious and could sideline Watt for most of — if not all of — the remainder of this season.
If it’s indeed a torn pectoral muscle, that would mean months of recovery for Watt and very well could end his season.
Pittsburgh escaped Cincinnati with a win, which is obviously soured by the news of Watt’s potential lengthy absence, but it could dictate how long he’s out. If the Steelers had lost, and this season ends up being one in which there’s no hope of contending, then Watt likely doesn’t rush back.
But the 1-0 start — one that already puts the Steelers up over a division rival — means that there’s an incentive for Watt to begin his recovery as soon as possible in order to try and return for a playoff push.
Of course, nothing is set in stone until an MRI confirms the seriousness of the injury.