Report: T.J. Watt Not Expected To Need Surgery, Could Return By Late October

When the Pittsburgh Steelers go trick-or-treating on Halloween, they may find a T.J. Watt in their bag. In the latest update on Watt’s pectoral injury, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport report Watt is not expected to need season-ending surgery. Instead, he will try to rehab and could return by the end of next month.

Of course, as has been the word all day, there’s still nothing definitive from a reporter while the team has yet to comment on Watt’s status. But what news and speculation has been out there has been encouraging. Last night, PFT’s Mike Florio reported the Steelers had “hope” the injury wasn’t season-ending and all day Monday, multiple reports have indicated similar.

Pelissero notes Watt will still land on IR, knocking him out at least a month, but this news, if true, is best-case scenario.

Watt had a MRI Monday but reportedly wanted a second opinion on the best course of action going forward, weighing undergoing surgery versus opting against it and just rehabbing. It’s looking increasingly likely Watt will attempt to do the latter, which is expected to keep him out 5-6 weeks. That’s consistent with the timetable outlined by ESPN’s Adam Schefter earlier today.

Watt was in top form in yesterday’s opener, recording a sack, pass deflection, and interception in the win over the Bengals. He suffered the injury late in the contest and immediately went to the locker room. Assuming Watt returns, he’ll be replaced by Malik Reed as the team’s starting LOLB. Barring an outside roster move, Jamir Jones will bump up from #4 to #3. A player like Hamilcar Rashed Jr. or Delontae Scott could get promoted from the practice squad. An outside move can’t be ruled out either.

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