PITTSBURGH — First it wash his knee.
T.J. Watt took a low block from Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson in the Steelers’ third preseason game of the 2022 season and suffered a knee injury as a result. Watt decided to play through it.
Then, it was his pec.
Watt suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the Steelers regular-season opener on Sept. 11. The injury can be season-ending, but Watt opted to rehab the injury and attempt a return. In the meantime, he did have a surgical procedure to clear out his knee and hopefully be able to hit the field running on his return.
A few games into his return, it’s now his ribs. Watt suffered a rib injury late in the Steelers’ Week 12 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Watt hasn’t revealed the nature of his rib injury. He was limited in practice all of last week, but was able to suit up against the Atlanta Falcons. Watt admitted after that game he was in a good bit of pain, and he clearly hasn’t been as productive as his usual self, but he’s determined to gut it out.
“It’s tough,” Watt said. “It’s stuff out of my control. It’s just kind of been one thing after another this year. I don’t want to miss any more games, so I’m just trying my best to be out there each and every week.”
Watt said he was able to do a “good amount” at practice on Friday. Officially, he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC North battle with the Baltimore Ravens. Unofficially, don’t be surprised to see No. 90 in the starting lineup and anchoring the Steelers defense through the stretch run.
“We’re definitely getting some confidence,” Watt said. “We’re getting some takeaways. There were some big runs last week that we gave up that obviously we wish we could have back. It means nothing if we don’t keep trending in the right direction. We don’t want to look too far into the future. We just want to have great days, great meetings, great practices and I feel like we did this week.”
Nick Farabaugh provided reporting from Pittsburgh.