Steelers put OLB T.J. Watt on COVID list

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed pass rush specialist T.J. Watt on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

Watt, 27, is second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks.

It’s unclear if Watt tested positive or is a close contact of someone who did. Watt’s vaccination status will be a determining factor toward his availability to play this Sunday.

Watt returned to action Sunday against Cincinnati after missing Week 11 with hip and knee injuries. Watt has started nine games this season and has 41 tackles, four passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He also has 13 tackles for loss.

Just before the season, Watt inked a four-year, $112 million contract extension that made him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player. He was the runner-up for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.

He is a two-time All-Pro.

The Steelers fell to 5-5-1 after a blowout loss to Cincinnati on Sunday and play division-leading Baltimore in Week 13. The Steelers have given up 82 points the past two weeks.