4: 31 PM ET
Brooke PryorESPN Staff Writer
- Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.
The Pittsburgh Steelers believe star pass-rusher and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the entire year T.J. Watt suffered a torn pectoral during Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win contrary to the Bengals in Cincinnati, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Watt is scheduled to endure scans Monday to verify the diagnosis, the foundation said.
The Steelers didn’t provide any extra details postgame, with coach Mike Tomlin only saying that Watt had been evaluated for an upper-body injury.
Both Watt and running back Najee Harris (foot) exited with injuries in the fourth quarter and were eliminated.
Harris suffered a foot injury because the Steelers attemptedto go out the clock, and he limped off the field. He was coping with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot during training camp, but he said earlier this week he was healthy.
Watt came off the field a few plays later along with his injury and went right to the locker room.
“Having TJ on the market definitely benefits us. He’s a leader. He’s the Defensive Player of the entire year,” teammate Cameron Heyward said. “However long it requires, other guys gotta intensify. Alex (Highsmith) stepped up very good today. Malik (Reed) and Jamir (Jones) are coming along. We’d to accomplish some different stuff on the market, but we rally around him. So when he gets back, we’ll prepare yourself.”
Following the game, Harris was spotted wearing a protective boot as he left the locker room. Beyond the second-year player, the Steelers have a comparatively thin and inexperienced running back room. Rookie undrafted free agent Jaylen Warren took the majority of the snaps when Harris transpired, and 2019 fourth-round pick Benny Snell can be an option. He previously only 36 carries last season for 98 yards, however the Kentucky product were only available in host to James Conner five times in 2019 and 2020.
The Steelers likewise have 2020 fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland on the practice squad.
The positional depth behind Watt can be thin.
Highsmith started every game at right outside linebacker opposite of Watt last season. The Steelers added Reed via trade with the Denver Broncos earlier this month. He started 13 games for the Broncos in each one of the past two seasons. The team also found Jones on waivers, bringing him back again to Pittsburgh after he saw action in three games with the Steelers last season.
“Praying that everything’s likely to be fine,” Highsmith said of Watt. “I understand a man like him, that’s gonna hurt him that he’s not on the market because he loves football so much. We’re just likely to rally around him. We have the people to just have the ability to part of and deliver if he’s unable to go.”