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Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt to get second, third opinions on torn pectoral

By Mahesh Limbani Sep 12, 2022

PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt’s outlook for the rest of the season is still up in the air after he sustained a torn pectoral in the Steelers’ 23-20 overtime victory against the Bengals.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year will get second and third medical opinions about his torn pec Tuesday, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If doctors determine that Watt needs surgery, his season likely would be over; if he doesn’t need surgery, he could possibly return in six weeks, sources told Schefter.

The Steelers, meanwhile, got good news on Najee Harris’ foot injury Monday. Tests came back negative and there is a belief that he “should be good to go” Sunday against the New England Patriots, a source told Schefter.

“I don’t know what all the details are,” defensive lineman Cam Heyward said of Watt’s status. “We’ll rally around him, make sure guys step up in the meantime, and whenever he gets back to us, he’ll just be ready. Certainly disheartening, but that’s part of the game of football.”

Watt appeared to sustain the injury when he went to tackle Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in the final seconds of regulation. He came off the field immediately and appeared to tell medical personnel that his pec was torn.

Watt — and his family — have previously defied the odds and overcome injuries on faster-than-usual timelines. His oldest brother, J.J. Watt, tore his pectoral in October 2019 and returned Jan. 4, 2020, for an overtime playoff win when he was with the Houston Texans.

T.J. Watt was in the Steelers’ locker room Monday, but he declined to speak to reporters. He appeared upbeat in his brief interactions, and he attended a team meeting.

“He always has a good attitude about things, and that’s what makes him a good leader as well,” outside linebacker Alex Highsmith said. “Even in bad times, he’s always trying to make everyone better around him. I think by him having that, he’s letting people know that, it’s going to be all right.”

Harris suffered his foot injury in the fourth quarter as the Steelers attempted to run out the clock, and he limped off the field. He was dealing with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot during training camp, but he said last week he was healthy.

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