PITTSBURGH (AP) — T.J. Watt isn’t a fan of reduce blocks, nevertheless the Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker isn’t able to weigh in on whether or not they need to be authorized or not, even after a scare in final Sunday’s preseason finale towards Detroit.
The NFL’s reigning Defensive Participant of the Yr narrowly averted critical damage to his left knee when Lions tight finish TJ Hockenson went low — legally — early in Pittsburgh’s 19-9 victory. Hockenson got here throughout the sphere and dove into Watt’s legs on a operating play. The contact created what Watt described as “discomfort” in his knee, and he was taken out of the sport shortly thereafter as a precaution.
Watt, who practiced on Wednesday and ought to be positive for Pittsburgh’s season opener in Cincinnati on Sept. 11, stated Hockenson apologized instantly after the play.
“(He stated) like, ‘Sorry I had to try this,’ one thing like that,” Watt stated. “And I simply didn’t actually have any phrases to say again to him. Extra frustration than something.”
Watt known as the blocks “powerful to take care of” however declined to choose a aspect when requested if they need to be allowed. The blocks have develop into a scorching matter of kinds after the New York Giants lost rookie defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux for a month after he was injured on the same play towards Cincinnati earlier within the preseason. Watt stated he was conscious of Thibodeaux’s damage, however hadn’t watched a replay.
“I don’t actually need to get within the weeds and both what ought to or shouldn’t be authorized in soccer,” stated Watt, who tied an NFL file by getting 22 1/2 sacks final season. “However like I stated, I’d should discover a option to be higher in that scenario to guard myself.”
Watt knew the block was coming. He and Hockenson maintained eye contact as Hockenson closed in. When Hockenson went low, Watt basically had nowhere to go.
“It clearly is being taught as a result of it’s a authorized transfer,” Watt stated. “So I don’t actually have any grudge towards it. I simply have to determine the best way to deal with it.”
Watt stated he didn’t take into account merely stepping out of the best way with a purpose to shield himself even when the play occurred in basically a meaningless recreation for a participant whose roster spot has by no means been unsure since being drafted within the first spherical in 2017.
“I’ll by no means shortchange the sport, whether or not it’s a preseason or a regular-season recreation, and that’s why when the change is flipped on, I don’t actually care if it’s the preseason or not, you’re simply enjoying soccer.”
NOTES: LB Malik Reed and OL Jesse Davis had been on the follow discipline on Wednesday lower than 24 hours after being acquired in trades. Reed will play a reserve function on the surface behind Watt and Alex Highsmith whereas Davis offers depth and flexibility for a line that struggled at instances throughout coaching camp.
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