Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed confidence about the return of edge rusher T.J. Watt this week. Watt seconded that assessment later Tuesday.
Watt said he is “optimistic” about playing against the Saints.
“Hopefully this week,” Watt said during a pep talk to McKeesport High players ahead of the WPIAL quarterfinals, via Brian Batko of PG Sports Now.
Watt injured a pectoral muscle in the season opener. He returned to practice ahead of the team’s Week 8 loss to the Eagles but was not activated for that game.
The Steelers made seven sacks in the season opener against the Bengals but have only eight in the seven games since Watt’s injury.
Watt’s 22.5 sacks last season tied Hall of Famer Michael Strahan’s NFL record.
“T.J. is who he is,” Tomlin said. “It’s not mystical the things that he’s able to do. I don’t know any of us are surprised with what he’s capable of getting done. We eagerly await his return.”