Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt goes on COVID-19 list

PITTSBURGH– The Pittsburgh Steelers positioned star pass-rusher T.J. Watt on the reserve/COVID -19 list Monday, dealing another substantial blow to a maligned defense ahead of an AFC North matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens.Watt taped just 2 combined deals with versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, returning after a one-week absence triggered by knee and hip injuries suffered versus the Detroit Lions.Watt has actually missed 2 games this season because of injury but still has 12.5 sacks in 9 games.The Steelers have already been seriously impacted by COVID-19 this season with both quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick missing time with positive tests. Returner Ray-Ray McCloud is still in the protocol and missed out on Sundays loss to the Bengals.Because he was immunized, Roethlisberger evaluated out of the protocol early with 2 negative results, however he was still sidelined for seven days.Fitzpatrick remained in the protocol for the complete 10 days.With Watt likely out Sunday, the Steelers will turn to Derrek Tuszka and Taco Charlton to fill his role, in addition to fellow starting outdoors linebacker Alex Highsmith. Tuszka, who was a seventh-round choice of the Denver Broncos, has actually played 115 defensive snaps with the Steelers this season. And Charlton, a former first-round choice signed off the practice team earlier this season, has played 115 snaps in 5 appearances with the Steelers. The groups depth at the position is additional compromised after dealing a disgruntled Melvin Ingram III to the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of the trade deadline.Just prior to the season, the Steelers signed Watt to an offer that made him the NFLs highest-paid protective gamer.

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