top of page

Pittsburgh Steelers Face Challenge Without T.J. Watt in Super Wild Card Weekend Showdown

The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for a high-stakes Super Wild Card Weekend matchup against the Buffalo Bills, but they will be without their defensive standout, T.J. Watt, who leads the NFL in sacks.

Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Watt will miss Sunday's game due to a knee injury sustained in Week 18. The news was anticipated following Watt's Grade 2 MCL sprain, a multi-week injury that delivered a significant blow to the Steelers' defensive lineup.

Acknowledging Watt's absence, Tomlin emphasized the team's resilient approach, stating, "Playing without T.J. is significant. But to be quite honest with you, we've played without a lot of people this year; it's just another opportunity for us to strike a blow for the team… It's going to be a committee approach. We better strengthen our output in other areas because T.J. is one of a kind."

Watt's impact on the field has been undeniable, leading the NFL with 19 sacks in 2023 and topping the league in QB hits with 36. His absence will undoubtedly pose a significant challenge for the Steelers' defense as they face a formidable Bills squad.

However, there is a glimmer of hope for the Steelers, as star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, is poised to make a potential return. Tomlin indicated that Fitzpatrick will have limited participation in practice, expressing optimism about the safety's availability for the upcoming game.

On the offensive front, the Steelers will continue to entrust Mason Rudolph as their starting quarterback, following his impressive performance in leading the team to three consecutive victories to close out the season. Tomlin expressed his desire to maintain continuity, stating that he wanted to "not disrupt the apple cart" after the offense found success under Rudolph.

In his three starts, Rudolph showcased his capabilities, completing 74.65% of his passes for 716 yards and three touchdowns. His ability to connect on three passing touchdowns of 60-plus yards in 2023 underscores his potential to make significant plays for the Steelers' offense.

As the Steelers prepare to face the Bills without Watt, they understand the importance of a strong offensive showing to compensate for the defensive void. With the stakes at their highest in the Super Wild Card Weekend, the Steelers are ready to embrace the challenge and make their mark in a pivotal matchup against the Bills.

43 views0 comments


bottom of page