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Steelers Get Two Crucial Injury Updates



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt
Steelers OLB T.J. Watt against the Baltimore Ravens, Jan. 6, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers hope to get multiple reinforcements for their game against the Bills. Minkah Fitzpatrick said he would return for the wild card round, and Damontae Kazee is returning from suspension. But T.J. Watt and Trenton Thompson remain two question marks, and Pittsburgh discovered some more on Monday.

Watt had an MRI, which came out as a grade 2 MCL sprain. He was seen wearing a sleeve on his left leg but did not have a brace on and was walking on his own power without crutches. Still, that does not mean that he is ready to play, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes his best-case scenario is missing just two weeks.

Of course, the Steelers would have to win two playoff games, on the road, as big underdogs to get Watt back into the fold, but Monday’s news at least gives hope of a potential return.

Watt’s brother, former NFL star and CBS Sports analyst J.J. Watt, reported on Sunday that Watt does not need surgery and that he would be able to recover after a few weeks of rest, but did not say whether or not Watt could return to action this season.

Meanwhile, Thompson still has a neck injury described as a stinger. He will give it a go this week and see if the symptoms have calmed down enough to get cleared to return. Two weeks ago, Thompson said he would push for a playoff return.

“I would push for the playoffs,” Thompson said. “If we get into the first round, I would do my best, with the doctors and trainers, to try and get cleared to play and have whatever role I might have.”

It seems that is precisely what the plan is, and the results of that plan will be seen throughout the practice week. Those symptoms included pain in his arm related to a nerve issue from the stinger he suffered against the Colts. So, it will be about that pain subsiding for Thompson to get cleared and return to play.