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Injury Setback Takes T.J. Watt off DPOY Betting Board



Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

Recent news about his knee surgery has oddsmakers backing away from Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt as an NFL Defensive Player of the Year favorite.

Watt, the 2021 winner of the award, was listed among the top tier of choices to win the 2022 award preseason, and even after his pectoral injury in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Watt remained on the odds boards.

Watt started the offseason as a 7/1 pick to win the award, according to odds posted by BetOnline. After his injury on Sept. 11, he was downgraded to 20/1, and then further to 33/1 the following week, when the extend of his initial injury became clear.

But now that Watt is expected to miss additional time after undergoing knee surgery, he has been taken off the board altogether. Watt is currently anticipated to be ready to return to the Steelers after their Week 8 bye week, but that remains an uncertain projection.

There’s not questioning Watt’s ability, but merely his ability to cram a full seasons of statistics into what may very well only be half a season’s worth of games. Watt played about two-thirds of the Steelers opener against the Bengals, recording a sack, six tackles, three tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, an interception and two passes defended.

Last season, the three-time reigning All-Pro tied the NFL single-season sack record with 22.5. Watt has led the NFL in sacks in back-to-back seasons.

The current favorite to replace him as the best defensive player in the league is Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (2/3), followed by Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (10/1), San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (10/1), Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donals (12/1), Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (16/1) and Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (16/1).

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