PITTSBURGH — The Steelers got another boost on Wednesday when T.J. Watt went from limited practice to full practice, signaling that he will likely clear concussion protocol and suit up against the Indianapolis Colts. Watt was in the concussion protocol and is taking the necessary steps to return. Fellow outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, also in concussion protocol, remained a limited participant.
The NFL and NFLPA announced on Tuesday that they would jointly review the protocols from the Steelers and other parties involved on Thursday night against the Patriots. For one, Watt did get checked for a concussion. After the first series, Watt was taken into the medical tent on the Pittsburgh sideline and examined more fully by both Steelers team medical professionals and the NFL’s independent neurologist. It was determined that Watt was okay to return to play, and he did so.
Watt was hit with a knee by New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott on the first defensive snap of the game. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick tackled Elliott right into Watt, with Elliott’s knee impacting Watt’s facemask in the jaw area.
Watt stayed down on the field after taking the hit. He was helped off the field by Steelers trainers and examined on the sideline before being allowed to return to the field after just a few plays.
Now, it appears he will clear that protocol before Saturday’s game in what is essentially a playoff game for both the Steelers and the Colts.