On Friday, the Pittsburgh Steelers listed outside linebacker T.J. Watt as questionable for this Sunday’s showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. Moments ago, the team announced an unfortunate change to his status.
Watt, who is nursing a groin injury, has been officially ruled out for Week 3.
The Steelers listed Watt as a limited participant for every practice this week. Either his condition worsened after Friday’s practice or the coaching staff is just being cautious with its best defensive player.
Pittsburgh signed Watt to a four-year, $112 million extension prior to the season opener. The front office can’t really afford to jeopardize his long-term heath.
Steelers announce TJ Watt is OUT vs. Bengals
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 25, 2021
Watt’s absence will certainly affect the Steelers’ ability to get after Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. In two games this season, Watt has seven total tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Unfortunately for the Steelers, the defense won’t just be missing Watt this weekend. Earlier this week, the team ruled out Alex Highsmith with a groin injury as well. He has played 90 snaps on defense through the first two weeks of the season.
With Highsmith and Watt both out, it’s imperative that Pittsburgh’s offense controls time of possession this Sunday. If not, its injury-riddled defense will get winded against Cincinnati.
Kickoff for the Bengals-Steelers game is at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.