Steelers place All-Pro T.J. Watt on COVID-19 list ahead of Ravens matchup

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  • Baltimore Ravens
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The Pittsburgh Steelers placed All-Pro pass rusher T.J. Watt on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, putting his status for next Sunday's AFC North game against the Baltimore Ravens in jeopardy.

It's not clear why the Steelers placed Watt in protocol, which doesn't necessarily mean that he's contracted COVID-19. Players deemed close contacts to people with COVID-19 can also be placed in the NFL's protocol. Watt's vaccination status also isn't clear.

If Watt is vaccinated and hasn't contracted COVID-19, he could potentially be cleared in time to play next Sunday based on the NFL's COVID-19 policy. Other scenarios could result in Watt missing next Sunday's game. Watt played in Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) stands on the field during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Cincinnati. The Bengals won 41-10. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
T.J. Watt's status for Sunday's game against the Ravens is unclear. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Watt is a two-time All-Pro and was a finalist for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons. He's maintained his menacing pace this season despite injuries, leading the Steelers with 12.5 sacks in nine games. He's also recorded 20 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles and four passes defensed. 

His absence would be a significant blow for a 5-5-1 Steelers team looking to keep pace in a competitive AFC North and conference wild-card race. 

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