Steelers News

Report: ‘Optimism’ T.J. Watt Will Only Miss A Month With Pec Injury

Following up on yesterday’s report from Pro Football Talk over the Pittsburgh Steelers’ “hope” T.J. Watt didn’t suffer a fully torn pec muscle Sunday, CBS’ Jonathan Jones is saying similar. He tweeted out there is “optimism” that Watt’s injury is only a partial tear and could miss only roughly one month of action.

Watt is set to undergo a MRI Monday, though I imagine that’s already taken place and Pittsburgh’s received initial results. While the team hasn’t announced anything, this report indicates the information the team is getting is encouraging. Watt suffered the injury to his left pectoral late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Bengals, immediately leaving the field and heading to the locker room. Prior to the injury, he has his typical dominant self, recording a sack, pass deflection, and interception against the Bengals.

Even if this report is true, Watt likely still would land on injured reserve but he’d be able to return after four weeks. Malik Reed will be next man up until Watt comes back.

As we noted yesterday, take everything with a grain of salt until there’s an official, confirmed report, but it’s looking better and better that Watt will suit up this season. And perhaps sooner than initially anticipated.

UPDATE (1:26 PM): Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Steelers may not have an official timeline on Watt’s injury until tomorrow. Watt is likely to seek a second opinion and he notes the team is weighing rehab versus surgery.

Here’s the full text of what he said.

“Yeah, it is a pectoral injury. T.J. Watt having an MRI today to determine the extent of it. My understanding is we may not get firm word on the injury to T.J. Watt, how long he is out and what the next step is until tomorrow. He’s going to get a second opinion, likely to have a couple different doctors review the scans.

“And the reason why, and this is my understanding of the current situation, is that Watt and the Steelers are still trying to figure out does he need surgery, which would knock him out to at least the end of the season, or can he rehab and return in a couple weeks? Both of those options are on the table. There is a possibility that he does not need surgery immediately, which would be great. That would mean it’s more of a pec strain than a full tear, but more information coming likely within the next 24 hours.”

And here’s what he said on Harris’ foot injury suffered yesterday.

“This is related, to my understanding, to the Lisfranc sprain that he had early on in camp. Kind of tweaked that a little bit. As of right now, doesn’t appear to be major. That is the general feel. But he had an MRI this morning, still getting more tests to determine; is there something else here or is it just a small reaggravation of a previous injury?”

Update (2:34 PM): Rapoport seems to echo Jones’ report, suggesting Watt “has options” and may only miss 3-4 games. Still, he cautions there won’t be official word until tomorrow.

UPDATE (2:52 PM): ESPN’s Adam Schefter lays out the same scenario as Rapoport, saying the team is unsure if Watt needs surgery or can rehab it. If the latter, Schefter lays out a timeline of returning in six weeks.

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