Is T.J. Watt playing this week? Latest injury updates ahead of AFC Wild Card Game

  • The latest on Watt's MCL injury
  • When can he return to the field?
  • Steelers injury report updates

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Conor Courtney/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a devastating blow to their roster in the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. Late in the third quarter, T.J. Watt went down with an injury to his left knee after defensive lineman Montravius Adams collided with him.

Early on, there were conflicting reports about the severity of the injury to Watt's MCL. The latest reports shed light on the ailment and give a timetable as to when and if the Steelers star can return to the field this week against the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.

T.J. Watt injury status for Wild Card Game vs. Bills

The Pittsburgh Steelers don't log their first practice until Wednesday afternoon. Mike Tomlin confirmed on Tuesday that T.J. Watt is listed as OUT for this contest. Watt to be on the injury report --likely as DNP (did not participate). We will monitor the injury report throughout the week for updates.

T.J. Watt injury update

The latest report from Ian Rapoport suggests that Watt will miss a minimum of two weeks as he nurses his way back from the Grade 2 MCL sprain. Rapoport notes that this is the 'best case scenario' regarding Watt's knee injury. Rapoport also noted that if Watt is able to return after two weeks (which would be the AFC Championship Game) he would likely wear a brace on his left knee if he suits up.

We have seen Watt bounce back from big injuries in the past faster than expected. Though he has been declared out this week for the Wild Card Game against the Buffalo Bills, there's a shot he could suit up with a brace during the Divisional Round. This game would be against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens if the Steelers find a way to beat the Bills on the road this week.

T.J. Watt injury history

  • Sep. 2017: Grade 1 Groin Pull - missed one game
  • Sep. 2021: Grade 2 Groin Strain - missed one game
  • Nov. 2021: Hip Strain - missed one game
  • Nov. 2021: Grade 1 Knee Strain - missed one game (hip strain occurred in same game)
  • Dec. 2021: Grade 1 Groin Pull - missed practice time
  • Sep. 2022: Grade 3 Pectoral Tear - avoided surgery, but missed seven games
  • Oct. 2022: Knee Tear - arthroscopic knee surgery while nursing pec injury
  • Jan. 2024: Grade 2 Knee Sprain - will miss postseason time with MCL

When is T.J. Watt coming back?

The latest reports from T.J. Watt's MRI suggest that the Steelers star will not return until the AFC Championship Game (if Pittsburgh makes it that far in the NFL Playoffs). He would need to log at least a limited practice by Friday to have any shot at suiting up against the Bills. This seems very unlikely, considering Ian Rapoport's latest report.

T.J. Watt's next 2 opponents:

  • Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 14th - AFC Wild Card Game
  • Baltimore Ravens, TBD - AFC Divisional Round Game (If win vs. Bills)

Pittsburgh Steelers injury report

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not yet released their injury report for Wild Card weekend in the NFL Playoffs. We will update this when their Wednesday injury report is released.

Buffalo Bills injury report

The Buffalo Bills have not released their injury report. This will be updated as soon as the injury report is released on Wednesday.