Publish date:

The 'Door Is Open' for T.J. Watt to Play vs. Bengals

The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker didn't rule himself out in Week 3.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers don't know the status of T.J. Watt for Week 3, but the outside linebacker made it clear that "the door is open" to play against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Watt practiced in a limited capacity during the team's first two days of preparation and believes he put enough work in throughout the week to at least have a chance of playing Sunday. 

"This isn't going around playing pee-wee football; this is playing with guys that do this for a living so it's trying to be smart, but at the same time knowing your body more than anything," Watt said. "I felt like I was able to do a good amount this week to leave the door open for Sunday."

Watt said his groin injury happened throughout the first half of the Steelers' Week 2 game. He tweaked it on one play and then continued to feel it get worse, therefore, deciding it was time to head to the sideline. 

Alex Highsmith is dealing with the same injury but did not practice during the team's first two days. If the second-year pass rusher is unable to go, Melvin Ingram and possibly Jamir Jones would be called on to cover for the two starters. 

Even knowing Highsmith could be a long-shot for Week 3, Watt feels no added pressure to take the field. 

"The standard is the standard here no matter who's out there," Watt said. "I don't think you can push or pull one way or the other depending on who's out there."

He'll take Saturday's walk-through as one of the final steps towards deciding his availability against the Bengals. Right now, the final call is undecided, but there's hope he plays in Week 3. 

"It doesn't really matter how many reps I get throughout the week," Watt said. "I was still able to run around here and do a lot of the things that I needed to do to keep the door open for Sunday."

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

You May Also Like:

Ben Roethlisberger Returns to Practice

Steelers Injury Report Getting Better, Kind Of

Steelers Confident in Jamir Jones

Antonio Brown Tests Positive for COVID-19

Steelers First Injury Report of Week 3 vs. Bengals

Steelers O-Lines Vows Not Helping Big Ben Up Won't Happen Again

Steelers WRs Need to Step Up in Light of Injury

Ben Roethlisberger's Motivational Message to Young O-Line

Ben Roethlisberger Provides Injury Update

Steelers O-Line Could Cost Them Their Season