The Pittsburgh Steelers will get back a huge piece of their defense this week.
Pass rusher T.J. Watt told reporters Friday he plans to play in the team's Week 10 matchup with the New Orleans Saints. He missed the previous seven games after suffering a pectoral injury in Week 1. The Steelers placed Watt on injured reserve in September for the pectoral injury, but his return was delayed by a knee procedure in early October.
Hey, T.J., Are you playing Sunday?
— Chris Halicke (@ChrisHalicke) November 11, 2022
Watt's return comes at a critical moment in Pittsburgh's 2022 season. The 2-6 Steelers have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and have been looking for a spark since losing Watt earlier in the season.
The veteran edge rusher entered 2022 after winning Defensive Player of the Year this past season and making his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and third consecutive first-team All-Pro. Watt led the NFL in sacks in each of the past two seasons with 15 in 2020 and 22.5 in 2021.
Whether or not Watt can return to that level of the final eight games of the season remains to be seen, but his presence should be a major boon for the Steelers in the second half of the year.