Pittsburgh Steelers’ outside linebacker T.J. Watt remains on IR and was not activated for tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He will not play in Sunday’s game and instead look to return in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints following the Steelers’ Week 9 bye.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted the news moments ago.
There was increasing speculation Watt would suit up ahead of schedule. The team opened his 21-day practice window earlier this week, and in speaking to reporters yesterday, he didn’t rule out attempting to play this weekend. But Pittsburgh is taking the cautious approach and will hold Watt out until after the bye.
Pittsburgh enters tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles as heavy underdogs. They’re 1-5 without Watt this season and their pass rush has fallen off a cliff without him, still registering more sacks in Week 1 (seven) than in the six combined games without him (five). They’re on pace for just 29 sacks this season after registering 50+ the past five years, tying or outright holding the league lead every single season. Sitting at 2-5, their season is essentially on the line against the undefeated Eagles.
Watt suffered a pectoral injury in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals and was placed on injured reserve. He also underwent knee surgery while on IR, though it’s unclear how much that impacted his rehab and recovery.