When TJ Watt is on the field, he’s among the best players out there. Of course, for him to impact the game, he has to be on the field in the first place. He’s unfortunately dealt with multiple injuries this season. A groin. A knee. A hip. The latter two causing him to miss Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, a game in which the Steelers’ defense allowed 41 points. Forced to watch the game from home, Watt didn’t hold back how it felt to see the defense struggle to get stops.
“It sucks. It sucks,” he told reporters Friday afternoon via the team website. “Texting with Minkah and Joe all last game. You see all the effort guys are giving and trying to spark the team, especially defensively. Watching Cam Sutton, Cam Heyward. It sucks when you know you can help but I wasn’t healthy enough to help. It’s a helpless feeling.”
Sunday night was the second full game Watt’s missed this season. He also missed the entire second half of the team’s Week 2 loss to the Raiders, leaving in the first half with a groin injury. In the three games he’s missed this season, the Steelers are 0-3. And they’ve struggled to generate pressure.
In fact, throughout his career, the Steelers have not won a game in which Watt did not play.
A critical game against Cincinnati gave Watt all the motivation he needed to get back healthy.
“But at the same time, it’s more motivation to get back and get healthy as quick as possible so I can start affecting games again.”
When healthy, Watt has impacted games like few players have. 12.5 sacks in eight total games and that’s including the half he missed against Las Vegas and the time he missed late in the tie against Detroit.
Watt was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday but practiced in full Friday. He’ll suit up against the Bengals Sunday afternoon, not even receiving an injury designation on the team’s final report. Pittsburgh was unable to sack Joe Burrow once in their Week 3 loss. They’ll have to get to him a couple times to have a chance to enact their revenge with a victory.