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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Steelers defensive star TJ Watt moving on recovery

PITTSBURGH ( Associated Press) – TJ Watt watches from the sidelines – wearing sweatpants and headphones – as the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line practices far below its usual siege and productivity abilities.

The NFL Defensive Player of the Year learned during his six weeks from surgery for a torn pectoral muscle and a minor knee injury that he is not ready to coach and should never give up. Her physical condition or her career is definitely .

“Not being able to practice or play is terrible, but when you come back you appreciate it more and enjoy it more,” Watt said on Friday.

Not only that, Watts is not out and will travel with Pittsburgh (2-5) to visit undefeated Philadelphia (6-0) on Sunday, even though coach Mike Tomlin has said it is “highly unlikely”. That will be one of the teams see the action. The most successful player in rounding up an opponent quarterback.

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“I feel excited about where I am,” said Watt, who returned to practice on Wednesday.

He didn’t feel that way until late in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s first game of the season against Cincinnati, in which he suffered a painful concussion on the left side of his chest when he tried to catch Bengals quarterback Joe Burrows.

Watt walked off the court holding the sore spot and told the doctors, “I tore it.”

“I’ve had muscle strains before,” Watt said. “It feels like a hoarse, a snap and you know right away that’s not a good thing. It was just a matter of knowing how serious it was and it would take 24 to 48 hours for it to happen.

Fortunately, an injury that can sometimes spell the end of a season for a player only shortened the campaign for Watts.

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That doesn’t mean it’s easy for Watts to spend more than a month as a well-paid, de facto assistant coach because during his absence, Pittsburgh’s defense struggled to upset the opposing quarterback. Is.

The Steelers dropped Burrow seven times in the first game. But without Watt he has only had five sacks in his last six games and barely touched Miami’s Tua Tagviola last week, a game in which the Steelers lost 16-10, and in which he played only once. The quarterback was hit.

“We have to find a way to harass and make us unhappy,” said defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

A task that is all too easy with Watt because of his peculiar way of wreaking havoc on an opponent’s offense. In Cincinnati, it looked like Watt would start right where he left off in 2021, when he set an NFL record with 22.5 quarterback catches.

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