Pittsburgh declared T.J. Watt out for its Week 3 game against Cincinnati. Watt suffered a groin injury midway through the Steelers’ Week 2 loss to the Raiders. The All-Pro outside linebacker managed three limited practices this week and entered the weekend with a questionable designation, but the Steelers will give him the weekend off.
This will be only Watt’s second injury-related absence as a pro. He missed Week 3 of his rookie season, with a groin injury sidelining him for that 2017 contest as well.
Sunday’s Steelers front seven configuration will look quite different, with the team also declaring its other outside linebacker starter — Alex Highsmith — out. The second-year edge rusher is also battling a groin ailment. Stephon Tuitt is on IR, while the Steelers placed nose tackle Tyson Alualu on their injured list this week.
Watt and Highsmith’s absences will leave recent signing Melvin Ingram to spearhead Pittsburgh’s pass rush, which has led the NFL in sacks in each of the past four seasons. The Steelers’ injury issues represent a potential reprieve for a Bengals offensive line that has allowed Joe Burrow to be sacked 10 times through two games.
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