We now have some official word on T.J. Watt’s pec injury. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watt will not need surgery and can rehab his injury. Crucially, Watt tore the muscle, not the tendon, allowing him to avoid surgery and return. Rapoport puts the timetable of missing about six weeks.
Here’s what he tweeted moments ago.
That timetable could put his return around Week 7/Week 8, either a Sunday night road game at Miami or a Sunday afternoon game at Philadelphia. Pittsburgh has a Week 9 bye so at worse, Watt is on track to return Week 10, November 13th, against the New Orleans Saints. That would make for just over an eight-week return.
This all follows a string of optimistic reports that indicated Watt would be able to return later this year. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Mike Tomlin also said he was encouraged.
“We’re probably in a lot better place than we were after the game,” he told the media in his Tuesday press conference.
In all, very good news for Watt, who initially was feared to miss the entire season with a torn pec. The Steelers will turn to Malik Reed and Jamir Jones in his absence. They also signed veteran Ryan Anderson to the practice squad today. Alex Highsmith will become the team’s top EDGE rusher. He picked up three sacks in Sunday’s opener, already registering half of what he accomplished last season.