Steelers Activate T.J. Watt Off Injured Reserve, Place CB William Jackson III On IR

T.J. Watt is officially back. Moments ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced Watt has officially been activated off injured reserve and placed on the team’s 53-man roster, confirming he will play tomorrow against the New Orleans Saints.

But his return isn’t all good news. In a corresponding move, the team placed CB William Jackson III on IR due to a back injury.

Additionally, the team ruled out FS Minkah Fitzpatrick due to an appendicitis and elevated S Elijah Riley to the 53 man roster.

Watt has been out of the lineup since injuring his pec in the team’s Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Without him, Pittsburgh’s pass rush has suffered greatly, registering just one more sack in the seven combined games he missed than the one game with him this season. The Steelers are on pace to finish the year with just 31 sacks, snapping a streak of five straight seasons in which they recorded 50+.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Watt said he didn’t expect to play on a pitch count and put zero limitations on himself. He’ll face old Wisconsin teammate Ryan Ramczyk in what should be a good battle on the edge.

Fitzpatrick will miss tomorrow’s game with an appendix ailment. Jackson missed the entire week of practice due to a lingering back injury he suffered while in Washington. Pittsburgh traded for him last Tuesday. He is now out at least the next four games. With CB Ahkello Witherspoon also out, the team will turn to James Pierre and Levi Wallace opposite of Cam Sutton for tomorrow’s game.

According to the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo, Jackson is expected to return later this season.

Riley has been on the Steelers’ practice squad all season and was elevated earlier in the year, logging a handful of snaps in Week 6 against Tampa Bay.

The Steelers will host the Saints tomorrow at 1 PM/EST at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh enters this game 2-6 while New Orleans sits at 3-6.

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