Despite coming off of their bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have several injuries to monitor ahead of Sunday’s game against the Rams. Among team’s most significant injury news was outside linebacker T.J. Watt’s heel injury that kept him out of Thursday’s practice. Fortunately for the Steelers, Watt was a full practice participant Friday and will face the Rams.
“It was minor. I feel great,” Watt said, via the Steelers’ website. “I had a good day of practice today.”
Watt will play, but tight end Pat Freiermuth has been ruled out as he continues to work through a hamstring injury. Diontae Johnson’s status for Sunday is trending upwards as he was a full practice participant throughout the week. The former Pro Bowl wideout hasn’t played since he injured his hamstring during the Steelers’ season-opening loss to the 49ers.
Watt’s availability is big news for the Steelers, who have a 1-10 record in games the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year hasn’t played in. Pittsburgh was 1-6 in games Watt missed last season and were 8-2 in games with Watt in the lineup.
Watt’s impact is pretty evident in that he is one of the NFL’s most impactful defensive players. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro led the NFL in sacks in 2020 and ’21 and currently leads the league with eight sacks through six weeks. Watt, who recently turned 29, also has six career interceptions, 25 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He and Highsmith each scored touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s first victory of the season, a Week 2 win over the Browns.