Sunday was the final preseason game for the Steelers, and it could come with a heavy cost.
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt and star wide receiver Diontae Johnson both went down with injuries during Sunday’s game vs. the Detroit Lions.
Ian Rapoport reported that Watt suffered a knee injury and Johnson left the game with a shoulder injury.
#Steelers pass-rusher TJ Watt (knee) and WR Diontae Johnson (shoulder) both exited today’s games with injuries and will not return.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 28, 2022
Fans tweeted the video of Watt’s injury, which was similar to the hit Bengals’ tight end Thaddeus Moss delivered to Giants’ rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux, to sports physician Jesse Morse.
Morse believes at the minimum, Watt suffered an MCL sprain but noted that it is unclear if the ACL was impacted.
However, Morse also expressed concern about a potential bone bruise and meniscal injury too.
TJ Watt #HereWeGo— Jesse Morse, MD (@DrJesseMorse) August 28, 2022
Left knee injury.
At the minimum an MCL sprain.
Unclear if ACL was impacted, and I have concerns about bone bruise & mensical injury too.
Hoping for the best. https://t.co/5jrWalWSlU
For what it’s worth, head coach Mike Tomlin attempted to downplay the injuries during the halftime break.
#Steelers HC Mike Tomlin told @EvanWashburn that OLB TJ Watt (knee) and WR Diontae Johnson (shoulder) would potentially be back in the game if this was the regular season. He didn’t seem to be overly concerned with the injuries.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 28, 2022
It appears both players avoided long-term injury, but their status is now up in the air heading into the Week 1 matchup against the Bengals.
Hopefully, both players are not seriously injured and will be able to take the field sooner rather than later.
The Bengals and Steelers will kick off from Paycor Stadium on Sunday, September 11th at 1:00 pm ET.