Watt ‘Completely Healthy’ After Return to Practice

Steelers linebacker goes through team drills for first time this summer

Josh Rowntree
August 06, 2019 - 6:41 pm
Steelers linbacker TJ Watt at practice in 2019

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

A bright yellow, little-used number 90 jersey was on the field for the Steelers’ defense Tuesday in Latrobe. 

T.J. Watt returned team drills for the first time this summer following a hamstring injury during the team’s conditioning test nearly two weeks ago. 

Watt was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform List Sunday and took part in individual activities during Sunday night’s Fan Fast practice last Heinz Field. But, on Tuesday, he was able to line up with Pittsburgh’s defense at left outside linebacker. 

“I’m completely healthy,” he said. “It’s just a matter of now getting to game speed. This is my first day, but this is a lot of these guy’s second week. I’m just trying to get up to speed and play fast.”

Watt claims that, from a conditioning standpoint, the injury has had little impact. The time on the PUP list, mostly, was a precaution for one of the few impact defenders on the Steelers’ defense. 

But this is the second year in a row that Watt, who enters his third season, has missed time in training camp with a hamstring issue. 

“Obviously I want to be out there with the guys and be able to be with the team,” he said. “If it’s going to happen, this is the best time for it to happen. We’re just trying to be as cautious as possible so it’s in the rear view mirror heading into the season.”

The Steelers host the Tampa Bay Bucs Friday night at Heinz Field. With just one practice to go before that game, it seems likely that Watt would play in that game given the lack of time on the field.

“That’s above my pay grade,” he said. “I’m just doing what the heck I’m told. I feel great.”

Watt has racked up 20 sacks over his first two season, the most all-time by a Steelers linebacker in the first two years of a career.

“I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I come out her and I try to get better each and every day, knowing that there’s always something to improve on. That’s what I love about football, you’re never where you want to be. I’m just trying to challenge myself and have teammates that are challenging me.”

But stats mean little to Watt. 

"The only stat is that we didn't make the playoffs, so that's all that really matters,” he said.

Hear more from TJ Watt below.