This season has been a very difficult one for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are among the worst teams in the NFL on offense and defense as it has been a struggle in every facet of the game in 2022.
Defense is something that the Steelers have notoriously prided themselves on, but they have struggled to slow down anyone. Pittsburgh is currently 29th in yards allowed and 23rd in points as opposing teams throw the ball against them with little resistance.
A big reason for that has been the absence of pass-rushing extraordinaire T.J. Watt. The back-to-back sack king and 2021 Defensive Player of the Year has been sidelined with a pectoral injury. He has not been on the field since the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and his absence has been felt.
The Steelers have only 15 sacks this season and there are only two players, Alex Highsmith and Cameron Heyward, who have more sacks than Watt this season. That speaks volumes to just how much Watt has been missed as his presence on the field makes this easier for all of his teammates as well.
Well, in good news for the Steelers, it sounds like that presence will be returning this week. There is optimism from head coach Mike Tomlin that Watt will be able to get back on the field in Week 10 for the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Watt practiced ahead of the team’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 but was not activated for that game. With another week to prepare with Pittsburgh being on bye in Week 9, it sounds like Watt has made enough progress to rejoin his teammates on the field this weekend.
This is big news for a Steelers team whose season is hanging in the balance at 2-6. However, there are some winnable games on their schedule coming up. With Watt back in the lineup, the defense should be able to get back on track, providing some positive momentum that the offense could feed off of.