With T.J. Watt on the verge of setting a record as the first athlete to lead the NFL in sacks three times, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday was bittersweet when he sustained a knee injury. As the Steelers anticipate the outcomes of matches involving the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, which will determine their entry into the playoffs, Watt’s ability to return to the field raises serious concerns.
Initial assessments of Watt’s injury specified it as a Grade 3 MCL sprain, and later an even more severe torn MCL, according to NFL Media. However, a more comprehensive examination using an MRI put these worries to rest and offered a more encouraging overview.
During ‘The NFL Today’ segment, JJ Watt, an accomplished player himself and T.J. Watt’s brother, shared this updated health status with the audience. He clarified that T.J. Watt’s injury is actually a Grade 2 MCL sprain. The recovery period for this specific injury usually spans across a few weeks.
Translating in layman’s terms, this prognosis signaled the ‘best-case scenario’ for Watt, implying a quicker recovery and greater chances of making a return to the field than initially expected.
The injury occurred during the Steelers’ Week 18 match, which was well into the third quarter when Watt collided with Steelers’ Montravius Adams in an unforeseen case of ‘friendly fire’. The impact was significant enough to require medical attention.
Post-collision, Watt was directed to the blue tent for immediate medical evaluation. He was later escorted to the locker room as anxiety about his condition and future contributions to the team began to rise among his teammates and fans.
Despite the discomfort caused by the knee injury, Watt had already made his mark in the game with his talent for defense. He had successfully made two sacks before his hasty exit, setting him apart as an instrumental player for the Steelers.
Currently, Watt enjoys the leading position in the league with a total of 19 sacks this season. The only player coming close to this success is Trey Hendrickson trailing behind with 17.0 sacks to his name.
Watt isn’t just making waves this season, but his performance has been consistently top-notch. If he establishes a lead in sacks this season, it would mark an impressive record of leading the league in this department thrice.
Furthermore, Watt has already etched his name in the NFL history books. He is part of an exclusive group of players, only the fourth in the NFL’s history, to have more than 19 sacks in two distinct seasons.
There is no denying the burden his absence would place on the Steelers, but they continue to hope for a quick recovery. Understanding the gravity of his injury, missing out on significant playtime is a looming concern.
As Pittsburgh’s playoffs fate hangs in balance, it is certain Watt would push to participate if they qualify. His dedication to the team and the game is unquestionable.
The coming weeks will be crucial not only for Watt’s recovery but also for the Steelers’ prospects in the playoffs. Watt’s return would indeed be a much-needed boost for the team, and fans will surely be eager to witness his comeback on the field.