Steelers Playoff Victory Overshadowed by TJ Watt Injury in Collision with Teammate



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Steelers Playoff Victory Overshadowed by TJ Watt Injury in Collision with Teammate
© Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In a tightly contested matchup, the Pittsburgh Steelers secured a crucial 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, keeping their playoff hopes alive. However, the win was overshadowed by a significant setback: T.J. Watt, the Steelers' defensive cornerstone, suffered a knee injury in the third quarter.

This injury could potentially impact the team's postseason prospects. The Steelers' fate in advancing to the playoffs hinges on the outcomes of NFL Sunday's games. However, the bigger concern is the status of Watt, who sustained a sprained MCL following an unintended collision with teammate Montravius Adams.

The incident left Watt visibly frustrated, as he punched the ground in agony before being assisted off the field. Despite his eagerness to rejoin the game, team officials cautiously held him back for further evaluation. Watt's departure from the field was a concerning sight, especially as he hobbled to the locker room favoring his left knee.

His condition will undergo close scrutiny over the weekend. The Steelers' victory brought their season record to 10-7, while the Ravens, having already clinched the No. 1 AFC seed and a first-round bye, rested key players and fell to 13-4.

The absence of stars like Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. didn't prevent the Ravens from putting up a resilient fight, showcasing their roster's depth. Najee Harris' six-yard touchdown run and Diontae Johnson's 71-yard touchdown reception from Mason Rudolph were key in securing the Steelers' win.

Isaiah Likely also contributed significantly to the Ravens with a 27-yard touchdown.

Steelers' Playoff Scenarios

The Steelers now await their playoff fate, which could be decided through various scenarios. A loss by either the Buffalo Bills or the Jacksonville Jaguars, or a tie between the Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, could propel Pittsburgh into a wildcard spot.

Another, though less likely, path involves a tie between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. Should the Steelers make the postseason, their success will heavily depend on Watt's health and readiness. Watt, who recorded his 19th sack of the season before exiting the game, is a pivotal figure in Pittsburgh's defense.

He and his brother JJ Watt hold the unique distinction of being the only NFL players with multiple seasons of 19 or more sacks. TJ Watt, with 96.5 career sacks and seven interceptions, was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.

His presence on the field is vital for the Steelers, especially as they potentially face formidable opponents in the playoffs. The NFC's top seed, the San Francisco 49ers, and the AFC-leading Ravens are currently favored for a Super Bowl showdown, but the Steelers, with a healthy Watt, could be a formidable obstacle in this highly competitive race.

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