5 nightmare scenarios for Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023

Pittsburgh Steelers, T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers, T.J. Watt / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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3. T.J. Watt goes lands on IR again

One thing that has to be in the back of the minds of Steelers fans everywhere is the thought that T.J. Watt could go down with another severe injury. In 2022, Pittsburgh lost Watt at the end of Week 1 to a torn pectoral muscle, and he didn't return to the field until Week 10.

The Steelers won just one game in his absence. Since Watt was drafted in the first round in 2017, the Steelers are 1-10 when he doesn't suit up and they have lost to quarterbacks like Mike Glennon, Baker Mayfield, Mac Jones, Jacoby Brissett, and Zach Wilson.

Not only that, but Pittsburgh allows nearly a touchdown more per game on defense when Watt doesn't play and their sack totals are more than cut in half when he's absent historically. Even in 2021 when Watt was dubbed Defensive Player of the Year and tied the single-season sack record, he still played through nagging hip, knee, and groin injuries.

Watt hasn't been fully healthy for a season since 2020, and fans certainly want to see him stay on the field. Another big injury could potentially derail Pittsburgh's 2023 season and it would be a nightmare scenario if their best player somehow ended up on IR again this year.