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T.J. Watt Leaves Door Open to Play Sunday Against Eagles



T.J. Watt

PITTSBURGH — Steelers star outside linebacker T.J. Watt left the door open to playing against the Philadelphia Eagles. Watt would not tip off anyone if he would play full-go or on a snap count, but Watt wants to get out there. However, he is not going to rush it.

Watt’s goal coming off injured reserve was to return as quickly as possible. Although he feels strong coming off and into practice, that is not an indicator that he will suit up against the Eagles on Sunday. Still, Watt allowed that to be left open, meaning there seems to be a chance he plays.

“I’m just doing what I’m asked and starting the process,” Watt said. “Really, it just feels good to be playing football again. I don’t know (if I can play Sunday). We’ll see.”

That is not a definite answer that he will or will not play. It is strategic deception on the part of Watt either way. Watt is forcing the Eagles to at least prepare for the possibility that he could end up going out there and playing. After feeling a pop against the Bengals in Week 1, Watt knew it could be severe. Now, the pec and knee injuries need to heal in totality to play.

“In totality, it’s just about getting my body back to playing,” Watt said. “There are a lot of aspects that go into playing in an NFL football game, and I feel like I’m going in the right direction.”

Watt does not care if he gets snaps before the bye week. He says that it is out of his control if he ends up taking the field or not on Sunday. So, he still does not fully know if he can play, even if that is on a snap count. But again, Watt did not throw out the possibility that he could play on a snap count.

“Man, I don’t know right now,” Watt said. “Honestly, we’ll have to see.”

It is still unclear if Watt will play. If not, Malik Reed will start once again. Reed knows that Watt wants to get out on the football field as quickly as he can, however. Reed has seen Watt itching to get back onto the football field right away.

“I know he’s itching, itching to get back,” Reed said. “He’s been out for this extended length of time. He’s got a lot of energy and he’s excited.”

If the Steelers are going to upset the Eagles, having Watt would be a massive help, even if he is on a limited snap count. Still, with Pittsburgh having a bye next week, they could exercise caution and allow Watt to rest up until they return to face the Saints.

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