Ravens likely to face a T.J. Watt-less Steelers on Sunday

Ravens, T.J. Watt Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, T.J. Watt Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

The unluckiest team in the NFL just got a little lucky. The Baltimore Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13, and the Steelers may be without star pass-rusher T.J. Watt.

Pittsburgh placed Watt on the COVID-19 list on Monday, and Watt will have a very short time to clear protocols to be able to suit up for the game this Sunday.

More likely than not, Watt will sit out the upcoming AFC North matchup with linebackers Derrek Tuszka and Taco Charlton filling his place.

Watt is only the most recent big name to head to the COVID-19 list; Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick have also missed time this season due to positive tests.

But if Pittsburgh starts complaining about COVID-19 roster depletions now, they’re only preaching to the choir.

The Ravens get a stroke of luck in Week 13, may not face Steelers’ T.J. Watt

The Steelers linebacker has been banged up here and there this year but still commands the highest salary of any defensive player in the league.

And for good reason: Watt has played in nine games in total but has recorded 12.5 sacks along with 41 tackles, 20 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, and four passes defended.

Watt didn’t have his best game in Week 12 in Pittsburgh’s blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but he’s undoubtedly one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL right now.

Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s offensive line can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The Ravens offensive line has already been dealing with inconsistencies in recent weeks, and T.J. Watt’s likely absence in Week 13 means the Ravens offense has a much easier game ahead of them.

That’s not to say Jackson couldn’t handle the pressure, though. The star quarterback thrived against Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns’ pass-rushing unit, and the four picks he threw were mostly unforced errors on Jackson’s part.

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Jackson will have to play a cleaner game against the Steelers to keep Baltimore at the top of the AFC North. Come Sunday, should the Steelers be without T.J. Watt, Jackson really doesn’t have any excuse.