Steelers’ T.J. Watt expects to return Sunday vs. Saints

T.J. Watt expects to return to action Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

The Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher has been out since suffering a pectoral injury in Week 1, but he told beat reporters Friday he plans to play and doesn’t expect to be on a pitch count.

“It’s been a long time coming. I feel very, very good about the week that I’ve had,” Watt said, via Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The move was expected after the Steelers opened the practice window for Watt late last month. The Steelers have yet to activate the edge rusher off injured reserve, a move they could wait until Saturday to make official.

Watt’s return should be a big boost to a Steelers defense that has struggled to consistently rush the passer sans the Defensive Player of the Year. Pittsburgh generated seven sacks in Week 1 with Watt on the field. In seven games since, it has eight total sacks. The unit’s 15 total sacks ranks 26th in the NFL.

The Steelers are allowing 24.6 points per game (23rd in the NFL) and 395.1 total yards (29th) in 2022, both the worst in the Mike Tomlin era. Pittsburgh is also averaging just 1.9 sacks per game.

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