PITTSBURGH — Working through a groin injury, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt said he did enough work during practice this week that the door is open for him to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Watt is officially listed as questionable for Sunday after being a limited participant at practice all three days this week.
“Doesn’t matter how many reps I get throughout the week,” Watt said Friday. “I was able to still run around here and do a lot of things that I need to do to keep the door open for Sunday. I’m excited to get the rest of today and tomorrow to continue to improve my body and see where I’m at on Sunday.
“… This isn’t going around and playing Pee Wee football. This is playing against guys doing this for a living, so trying to be smart. At the same time, knowing your body more than anything. I felt like I did a good amount this week to leave the door open for Sunday.”
While Watt is questionable, fellow outside linebacker Alex Highsmith (groin) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (knee), who suffered his injury on the final play of the loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, have been ruled out against the Bengals.
Watt injured his groin against the Raiders, but didn’t point to a specific play.
“I think it was a tweak here or there and then tried to push through it,” Watt said. “Just trying to be smart at the end of the day, ultimately. It’s a long season.”
He missed the second half in the loss.
“It’s always tough,” Watt said. “You never want to miss time and you only get so many opportunities to play a game each season. So any time you miss time is obviously frustrating. It always comes back to being smart so you don’t miss extended periods of time as well.”
Watt said, though, if he does play Sunday, he won’t hold back.
“That will never be a question for me,” Watt said. “If I’m going to play, I’m going to play like I always do.”
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