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Steelers designate T.J. Watt (pec) for return off IR

Oct 23, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) looks on from the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro pass rusher T.J. Watt returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past six games with a torn pectoral muscle.

The team opened the 21-day practice window on Watt, designating him for return from injured reserve. He’s not expected to play this week against Philadelphia but can be added to the active roster at any time.

The Steelers (2-5) have a bye in Week 9 before playing New Orleans in Week 10.

Watt initially was expected to miss six weeks with the pectoral injury he suffered in the season opener, but he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month, delaying his return.

Watt opted to rehab the pec injury, which occurred in the Week 1 win at Cincinnati, rather than have a surgical procedure that carried a recovery time of around 10-12 weeks.

Watt had a sack and interception in the season-opening win but did not finish the game. Last season, the three-time All-Pro tied Michael Strahan (2001) for the most sacks (22.5) in a season since the stat became official in 1982.

The 21-day window closed on Steelers rookie receiver Calvin Austin III on Wednesday, meaning he will remain on IR for the rest of the season.

–Field Level Media