June 16, 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one star on their defense trending in one way ahead of facing the Buffalo Bills in the upcoming 2023 Wild-Card round… and another big name heading in the other direction.

Starting with the bad news for the Steelers (10-7), Pittsburgh will be without TJ Watt against the Bills (11-5), according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

With 19 sacks, Watt is again the league’s sack leader for the third time four seasons. That’s a huge loss. He injured his knee in Pittsburgh’s season finale.

Clearly one of the NFL’s best defensive players, the pass rusher has caused havoc against Buffalo in his career with 2.5 sacks, nine QB hits, three tackles for loss, two passes defended and two forced fumbles in four games played.

On the flip side, there was optimism from Tomlin regarding All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) per Steelers Wire. Fitzpatrick has missed Pittsburgh’s last three games and could be back to travel up to Buffalo.

Time will tell… as will the injury reports.

Bills Wire will provide injury updates for both teams ahead of their Wild-Card matchup throughout the coming week.

Story originally appeared on BSteelers plagued by injuries before and during Browns game ...

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won’t have one of their best players as they play the Bills. But they will keep riding the hot hand at quarterback.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said in his Tuesday press conference that T.J. Watt has been ruled out for the wild card round while Mason Rudolph will start again for Pittsburgh.

Watt’s brother, J.J., noted on Sunday that the Steelers’ edge rusher suffered a Grade 2 sprain and will need a couple of weeks to recover from the injury.

Watt finished the regular season with a league-leading 19.0 sacks. He also registered 19 tackles for loss and 36 quarterback hits.

“Playing without T.J. is significant,” Tomlin said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “But we’ve played without a lot of people this year and this is another opportunity to strike a blow for the team.

“It’s going to be a committeed approach. We better strengthen our output in other areas because T.J. is one of a kind.”

As for Rudolph, the Steelers have won each of the last three games with him at quarterback. So, they’ll stick with him instead of turning back to Kenny Pickett, who is healthy after missing time with an ankle injury.

“We’re simply staying with the hot hand and not disrupting the apple cart,” Tomlin said, via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’ll continue in that vein.”

Rudolph has completed 74.3 percent of his passes for 719 yards with three touchdowns and no picks this season.

ills Wire

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without linebacker T.J. Watt for Sunday’s wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills due a knee injury.

Watt suffered the injury during Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. As he landed after jumping to block a Tyler Huntley pass, teammate Montravius Adams collided with Watt’s left knee.

Watt, the NFL’s regular-season sacks leader with 19, was ruled out

“Playing without T.J. is significant. But, we’ve played without a lot of people this year,” head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. “This is another opportunity to strike a blow for team.”

Watt’s older brother, former NFLer J.J., posted on X Sunday that T.J. had suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

“Best case scenario for TJ,” J.J. wrote. “Everything else looks pristine. Couple weeks of rest/recovery.”

Rudolph remains starting quarterback

Tomlin also confirmed that Mason Rudolph will start at quarterback after helping get the Steelers into the playoffs over the last month.

“We’re just simply staying with the hot hand and not disrupting the apple cart,” Tomlin said. “He’s delivered, we’ve delivered, and so, we will continue in that vein.”

Since taking over for an injured Kenny Pickett, Rudolph has thrown for 719 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions and helped the Steelers to a 3-0 record in games he’s started. Two of those three wins saw the team eclipse 30 points, something they hadn’t done since November 2022.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve essentially kind of been in the playoffs,” Tomlin added. “Hopefully that experience shows that urgency.”

of the game a short while later.

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