Ex-Steelers LB Raises Questions About Timeline for T.J. Watt’s Return

Steelers LB T.J. Watt

Justin Berl/Getty Images T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers comes onto the field to warm up for a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022.

On Sept. 13, 2022, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats appeared with The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and recounted how he suffered a torn pec on Jan. 17, 2016, during a divisional round playoff game against the Denver Broncos. Being that it was the last game of the Steelers’ season, Moats didn’t have to return to the field until months later, but he remembers the recovery process well.

“Me being a guy who has torn his pec as well, not off the bone, I know what it felt like at six weeks. I personally didn’t feel like I was ready to go out and play in an NFL game,” Moats told co-hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller. “It took me longer than six weeks, even when I came back and we were starting practices, you have to be smart with this thing. If it’s a situation where you are pushing and pulling you might have to go ahead and take a back seat on (a) particular play to save it for the long term.”

As to why making a quick return from a torn pec is a dicey proposition: “You’re talking about a tendon that is connected to your chest, but it also dictates your shoulder as well…. Anything you’re doing in terms of extending your arm, the bull rush that T.J. loves — that hurts. The long arm that he loves — that hurts….

“That’s just without contact,” he added. “Now you’re talking about doing it at the NFL level with guys on game day … where you’re going to have that pull, that push, that resistance and just not being in control. Those are the areas where I’m a little bit concerned about the six-week point (and) not being fully ready to go for that,” offered Moats, who spent the final four years of his NFL career with the Steelers (2014-2017) after spending his first four years with the Buffalo Bills.

Arthur Moats on the Pros and Cons of T.J. Watt Retuning in 6 Weeks

Moats did concede that if anyone is capable of coming back in six weeks, it would be Watt.

“Now T.J. Watt, I personally feel like he will be able to, if anybody can it would be him. But I’m just not as optimistic that it’s going to be this clean six-week thing and he’s coming out there and looking like the T.J. Watt who is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year,” continued Moats, who went on to address the pros and cons of coming back in a month-and-a-half.

“I might not be as optimistic as everybody else. That’s largely it, he can’t be thinking about an injury, he can’t be playing to protect himself,” Moats said. “He plays 100% — 100 mph — and that’s what makes him, him. I just don’t know if six weeks is going to allow him to do some of the things that we are accustomed to seeing from him.”

Ex-Steelers Offensive Lineman Rashaad Coward to IR

Meanwhile, in other news involving a former Steelers player, Cardinals offensive lineman Rashaad Coward was added to Arizona’s practice squad injured list on Sept. 14, as per Josh Weinfuss, staff writer for ESPN.

Coward appeared in four games for the Steelers last season, having signed a contract with Pittsburgh in March 2021.

Read More