TJ Watt and the Pittsburgh Steelers dealt with some injury woes these last couple of seasons.
Now, the franchise aims for bigger and better things with the 2023 season on the horizon.
The Steelers’ star pass rusher recently reflected on his campaign last year. Multiple times apparently. Now, he opens up about the injuries he’s endured.
According to Kevin Patra, TJ Watt has thought about his injuries so often last season that he now claims, “I’ve drove myself nuts.”
He’s continuously thought about the play that caused his pec to tear. Here’s what TJ Watt had to say about it.
“Obviously, the pec this past year was tough. Just having a great offseason, feeling really good going into the season. I felt like I was playing really well in Cincinnati. But that’s just like one of those things. Even on the play I got hurt, the clock was running, they were out of timeouts. Fourth quarter. It was like 20 seconds left. I got a hand in the face penalty.”
“But I had Joe Burrow locked up, and like my arm got stuck behind me. And that’s how I tore my pec. The amount of times I’ve replayed that play in my mind — like if I just kept my hands low, there’s no hands to the face, A. Then, B, if I just stay on my feet and wrap him up and take him down, like, game’s over, pec is fine. The amount of times that I’ve drove myself nuts thinking like that.”
TJ Watt’s pec injury was just the start of it though. Apparently, the star edge rusher was never able to get fully healed. From there, he suffered other injuries that hindered his season.
“As soon as I came back, it never really got to 100 percent. But then it was just like every little thing — I had a rib (injury). I had a thumb. It was just one of those years for me where I just could never get 100 percent fully healthy, so it was a little frustrating.”
Even though, it sounds like he is in good spirits this offseason. With a full offseason to get his body right, Watt believes he’ll be able to bounce back in a big way in 2023, per Kevin Patra.
“Yeah, I feel great now. I really do. And it’s been a great offseason for me. If you play long enough in this league, you’re gonna have those years, you’re gonna have those weeks, and it’s just about how you respond to it. So that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”
TJ Watt has recently claimed he likes what he’s seeing from the Steelers’ defensive unit this offseason. If he can get back to full health, Pittsburgh should have a stout defense once again.
It’s a pivotal year for this franchise as Kenny Pickett enters the second year of his career.
After the front office made some noticeable acquisitions to improve the offense, the Steelers could be a dark horse out of the AFC North.
If anything, that division could be one of the most competitive in the league next season.