Report: TJ Watt Groin Injury Believed to Be Minor, Could Play for Steelers vs. Titans

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 10, 2021

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The groin injury suffered by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt during Thursday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings is reportedly a minor "tweak."

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Friday that Watt has a "chance to be ready to go" when the Steelers return to action Dec. 19 against the Tennessee Titans.

The 27-year-old University of Wisconsin product exited the 36-28 loss to Minnesota in the second quarter. He was originally deemed questionable to return but was later ruled out.

Watt spent much of last week in the NFL's COVID-19 protocols but returned in time to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. He put together a dominant performance with six total tackles and 3.5 sacks in the Steelers' 20-19 win.

He finished Thursday's game, which nearly saw Pittsburgh rally from a 29-0 deficit, with just one tackle before the early exit.

Watt previously missed the team's Week 3 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals with a groin injury and Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with a hip injury.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection has built a Defensive Player of the Year case when healthy. He leads the NFL with 16 sacks to go along with 48 total tackles, four forced fumbles, four passes defended and two fumble recoveries across 11 appearances in 2021.

Watt's 65.5 career sacks since being in the selected in the first round of the 2017 draft rank first in the NFL over that span, one ahead of the Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald.

The Steelers will hope the extra few days of recovery will allow the edge-rusher to play against Tennessee because their margin for error is thin heading into the stretch run of the regular season.

Pittsburgh sits 10th in the AFC playoff standings with a 6-6-1 record and will likely need to go at least 3-1 over the final month to earn a postseason berth. That's a tough challenge ahead with games against the Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

That's an uphill battle regardless of the circumstances, but it'll become nearly impossible if Watt is forced to miss any of those games because of injury.


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