The Pittsburgh Steelers are just days away from lacing up for an all-important road game against the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, their best player is likely to be in street clothes for this do-or-die contest.
T.J. Watt suffered a knee injury late in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh's 2023 season finale. Later we learned that MRI results confirmed Watt had suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, this is an injury that will sideline the Steelers star for a minimum of two weeks.
Rapoport also notes, that if Watt is able to suit up at all in the postseason, his first attempt at doing so won't come until the AFC Championship Game. If the Steelers miraculously make it that far, Rapoport believes that Watt would likely suit up with a brace on his left knee.
While the diagnosis was much more encouraging than our initial fears when the injury occurred, it's not a good sign for Watt's availability in the playoffs. Recently, T.J.'s big brother J.J. Watt joked about suiting up for the Steelers this Sunday in his brother's place with a jersey-swap graphic and caption that read, 'think they'd notice?'
I guess if you can't have the reigning 2023 sack leader, why not get the next closest thing? (biologically, anyway). J.J. Watt officially retired from the NFL, and he has expressed numerous times to Pat McAfee and others that he has no interest in lacing up the cleats again. But a man can dream.
In his final season in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, J.J. earned 12.5 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, and 25 QB hits in 16 games. Even in his old age, Watt remained a steady staple to the defense. The Cardinals terminated the remaining year on Watt's contract and he is free to sign with any team if he chooses to come out of retirement.
Don't hold your breath. This is nothing more than a joke to make light of a grim injury situation with T.J. Watt. I know that J.J. would take his brother's place this week if he thought it would help, but that's not happening.
In reality, both T.J. and J.J. will be watching the game in street clothes this week -- cheering on Pittsburgh's pass rush unit and praying that Alex Highsmith has the game of his life.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have moved to 10-point underdogs on the road against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills for Super Wild Card Weekend. They are the biggest underdog of any playoff team this week. If Pittsburgh can find a way to pull off the upset, you can bet that T.J. Watt would do everything in his power to take the field for Pittsburgh in the Divisional Round against the Baltimore Ravens.