Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is being entered into the concussion protocol after reporting symptoms on Friday at the facility. Watt had an evaluation on the sidelines during the first quarter of their game against the Patriots. He suffered the injury after colliding with Minkah Fitzpatrick on a run stop on the first play of the game, but remained in the game.
Afterward, Watt would be drawn into the blue medical tent with the red hat, the independent neurologist, entering the tent with him. That would mean that he was cleared to return. But after that, he wore a dark visor, too. Those were the changes that allowed Watt to keep playing.
He is the second Steelers outside linebacker to enter the protocol this weekend. Also, Alex Highsmith is in the protocol after reporting a neck injury against the Patriots and being ruled out for the remainder of the game. Given the nine-day timeline, that gives them a better chance to play, but many teams are being even more cautious with the concussion protocol this season. That has forced many players to miss at least one game if not multiple games. The Steelers play the Colts next in a game that will essentially decide their playoff hopes.
If Watt and Highsmith are both out, Markus Golden and Nick Herbig would each get the start. This is why they added so much edge rusher depth, just in case those guys got injured. They are no Watt and Highsmith, but Golden and Herbig have both flashed and been productive during their limited times in the game. Golden was a surprise inactive on Thursday, but that was due to limited spots and the need for Kyron Johnson to come up and play special teams. Johnson is the only other edge rusher the team has on the practice squad.