The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 5-5-1 on the season via Sunday's blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and delivered bad news to fans on Monday afternoon.
As Michael David Smith explained for Pro Football Talk, the Steelers placed All-Pro pass-rusher T.J. Watt on the reserve/COVID-19 list, which puts his status for Sunday's home game against the rival Baltimore Ravens in question.
Baltimore improved to 8-3 via a win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night.
According to ESPN stats, Watt trails only Cleveland's Myles Garrett with 12.5 sacks on the season even though the 27-year-old has recently dealt with hip and knee injuries. Earlier this month, Pittsburgh All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed time due to the league's COVID-19 protocols.
Vaccinated players can return to team activities if they produce two negative virus tests at least 24 hours apart and are asymptomatic. As of Monday afternoon, it's unknown if Watt is vaccinated or if he has any symptoms.
The good news here is it’s Monday. Not likely, but possible for TJ Watt to return in time for Sunday. If he’s vaccinated, which most Steelers are, he’d need two negative tests within 24 hours once he’s asymptomatic.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) November 29, 2021
If Watt can't play against Baltimore, he could be eligible to return for the matchup at the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Dec. 9.