On Friday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that outside linebacker T.J. Watt and free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick have been named Associated Press first-team All-Pro for 2020, with defensive end Cameron Heyward named second-team All-Pro.
Watt, who was recently named 2020 Team MVP, is a first-team All-Pro for the second consecutive year, just like Fitzpatrick.
Watt finished the season leading the NFL in sacks (15), tackles for a loss (23), and quarterback hits (41). He is considered a strong candidate to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year after finishing third in DPOY voting in 2019.
His promotional wingmen include his brother J.J. Watt (who has won DPOY three times, in 2012, 2014 and 2015) and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who recently drew attention to the strength of Watt’s candidacy by saying, “T.J. is visiting from another planet, to be quite honest with you. He has freakishly unique talent coupled with freakishly unique work habits and mindset, and it produces what you guys witness every week, which in my opinion, is Defensive Player of the Year quality.”
Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cameron Heyward
As for Fitzpatrick, finished the 2020 season as Pittsburgh’s leading tackler with 74. He also contributed 11 passes defensed, tackle for a loss, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He also had four interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown against Cleveland in Week 6.
Fitzpatrick finished in a tie with Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals at his position, so both were named to the team.
Heyward, who signed a contract extension in the offseason that will keep him in Pittsburgh through 2024, had 54 tackles this season, plus 18 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, four sacks, three passes defensed and one interception, the latter of which came in the season opener against the New York Giants.
Heyward was a first-team selection last year and has been named All-Pro three times in the course of his career.
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AFC North All-Pros
As for the other players in the AFC North who earned All-Pro honors: The Cleveland Browns had two players named to the first-team in edge rusher Myles Garrett and right tackle Jack Conklin. Cleveland also had two players named second-team in left guard Joel Bitonio and right guard Wyatt Teller, the former of which will miss Sunday’s playoff game against the Steelers, as he has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Safety Jessie Bates won second-team honors for the Cincinnati Bengals while placekicker Justin Tucker earned second-team status for the Baltimore Ravens.
Browns Add Another Player to Reserve/COVID-19
Meanwhile, on Friday the Cleveland Browns announced that they have added another player to the Reserve/COVID-19 list, that being safety Jovante Moffatt. (At the same time, the team activated center Javon Patterson off the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list.)
Cleveland currently has four defensive backs on the COVID-19 reserve list, including Moffatt. The other DBs on the list are cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson and safety Ronnie Harrison Jr.
The Browns are scheduled to practice for the first time this week on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET.