NFL 2022: T.J. Watt avoids surgery, out for at least six weeks with torn pectoral muscle
The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly got a bit of good news Tuesday: Star pass rusher T.J. Watt won't miss the entire season after he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 1. Instead, Watt will be out for at least six weeks, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Originally, the Steelers feared Watt would need season-ending surgery. But according to Rapoport, the tear didn't affect the tendon and therefore wouldn't require a surgical procedure, which saved Watt's season.
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) September 13, 2022
Watt, 27, was named Defensive Player of the Year last season and looked poised for yet another fantastic year, registering a sack and an interception in Week 1.
Watt appeared to injure himself late in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's win over Cincinnati. With seconds left in regulation, Watt attempted to tackle Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and walked off the field after.
this is the play TJ Watt likely tore his pec pic.twitter.com/TT9iUmcn2I
— alex (@highlghtheaven) September 11, 2022
Watt was unable to return when the contest went to overtime. Without Watt, the Steelers managed to pick up a 23-20 win over the Bengals.
Steelers defense looked strong in Week 1 win
The Steelers' defense looked dominant during their win over the Bengals. Pittsburgh forced Burrow into five turnovers, including four interceptions and a lost fumble.
While Pittsburgh can still boast a strong defense without Watt, his loss hurts. Watt was not only the reigning Defensive Player of the Year but also made four straight Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Pro team in three consecutive seasons. It will be impossible to replace his production on the field, so the Steelers will need multiple members of their defense to step up while Watt recovers from his injury. Fortunately, it sounds like Pittsburgh will only be without Watt for a little over a month.