T.J. Watt Goes Down With a Torn Pec in Steelers’ OT Win Vs. Bengals

T.J. Watt with the Steelers in 2019
T.J. Watt with the Steelers in 2019. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI/Shutterstock (12425240j)

The Pittsburgh Steelers paid a steep price for their 23-20 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 NFL season opener. Steelers’ star outside linebacker T.J. Watt suffered what seems to be a torn pectoral muscle and might miss significant time.

Watt got hurt during the Bengals’ final drive in the regulation that ended up tying the game. He was seen exiting the game while holding his left side. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is scheduled to undergo an MRI that will determine the full extent of the injury.

If the tests show Watt is dealing with a fully torn pec, he will most likely need to undergo surgery that will rule him out for several months. The usual recovery is around four months, although his brother J.J. Watt returned from a similar injury in just two months in 2019.

T.J. Watt had a great game before going down, getting six tackles, 1.0 sacks, and one interception. In his absence, the Steelers will have to rely on a pair of former undrafted OLBs Malik Reed and Jamir Jones. Reed came to Pittsburgh in a trade with the Denver Broncos last month, while Jones was claimed off waivers after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason.

Steelers will play their Week 2 game at home next Sunday against the New England Patriots.