The latest reports on Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt‘s outlook after tearing his pec in last Sunday’s win over the Bengals indicate optimism that he will be able to avoid surgery and return to action around the middle of the season.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t confirm that during a Tuesday press conference, but he did little to counter the idea that Watt received a favorable diagnosis. Tomlin said the Steelers are “probably in a lot better place than we were after the game” in terms of Watt’s outlook while acknowledging that Watt will not play this weekend.
Tomlin said he would not commit to anything beyond that. He said hecouldn’t definitively rule out surgery because Watt is still getting other opinions and that those conversations will inform a decision to do what’s “appropriate” when it comes to putting Watt on injured reserve.
If Watt goes on the list, he would miss at least four games before becoming eligible to return. The most recent reports pegged six weeks as a hopeful timeline for Watt’s return to action.