The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom look to be in a starting role (or complementary role in Freiermuth’s case) for the season opener.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. They have a 53-man roster, though it will always change to some degree. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Will T.J. Watt miss any time due to his groin injury?
We will inevitably hear from head coach Mike Tomlin today about outside linebacker T.J. Watt. We will likely not learn anything concrete about whether or not he will play in the Steelers’ next time. He will probably use the phrase, “we’ll let practice be our guide”, or some variation of it, and maybe even throw in a “we’ll leave the light on for him”.
Watt, in his second game since signing a massive contract, and after recording his third sack of the season and second forced fumble, exited Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with a groin injury. He would not return.
We have seen reported over the past 24 hours indicating that the team believes the injury is not serious, but what we don’t know is whether or not it is insignificant enough that it would enable him to get back on the field immediately.
While the Steelers also have Alex Highsmith and Melvin Ingram at the outside linebacker position, they didn’t give Watt $28 million per season because he can be replaced. His impact through the first six quarters of the season was readily apparent, as was the decline in the unit after his exit.
That makes it a big question as to whether or not he will be available. Outside of the regular-season finale last year, when he was rested intentionally, Watt has only missed one game in his professional career over the past four seasons.