Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher TJ Watt is expected to return from injury sooner than initially feared.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year shared a gif of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator saying "I'll be back" amid reports that he was expected to rehabilitate his pectoral tear rather than opting for season-ending surgery, which would've been necessary had he torn the tendon.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero both reported that rehabilitation was an option for Watt as he gathered multiple opinions on the injury, which he experienced late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 23-20 overtime victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"#Steelers LB TJ Watt suffered a torn pec muscle but did not tear the tendon. That’s why, as he says, he’ll be back," Rapoport tweeted. "It’s about six weeks of rehab, then Watt could be able to return — with no surgery."
Watt recorded six tackles, three tackles for loss, and a sack during Sunday's victory before appearing to mouth "tore (my) pec" while coming off the field after his final snap of the game.
The former Wisconsin standout is coming off a career season in which he tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan as the NFL's single-season sack record holder (22.5), earning his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, as well as having being selected as a first-team All-Pro for the third consecutive year and Pro Bowler for the fourth consecutive year.
Watt also signed a four-year, $112 million extension with Pittsburgh prior to the 2021 season, which included a $35 million signing bonus and $80 guaranteed during the next three seasons, making him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.
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