Steelers' T.J. Watt Placed on IR After Suffering Pec Injury, Likely Out 6 Weeks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 15, 2022

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) stretches before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 11, 2022, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH.  (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed T.J. Watt on injured reserve because of a torn pectoral muscle and signed edge-rusher David Anenih, the team announced Thursday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Tuesday that Watt won't require surgery and could return after six weeks rather than miss the rest of the season.

Concern arose when Watt came off the field in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. The cameras appeared to catch him telling team personnel he had torn his pectoral muscle.

The tear could've put the 27-year-old's season in jeopardy. Fortunately for him and the Steelers, they dodged the worst-case scenario.

An injured reserve designation requires a player to miss a minimum of four games. That would leave Watt eligible to return in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Based on Schefter's report, though, he might not return until around Pittsburgh's bye in Week 9.

Prior to the injury, Watt hadn't missed a beat after tying Michael Strahan's record for most sacks in a season (22.5). He had six tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss as he helped Pittsburgh force five turnovers.

The Steelers will have to hope Malik Reed can pose enough of a threat on the edge to avoid having the defense fall off too much.

Anenih, meanwhile, might have the opportunity to make his NFL debut. Signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in April, he had seven tackles and three sacks in three preseason contests.

The 23-year-old was on Tennessee's practice squad.