T.J. Watt ruled out for second half of Steelers’ Thursday night game against Vikings with groin injury

Scott Taetsch / Contributor

Steelers star outside linebacker T.J. Watt was ruled out for the second half of Pittsburgh’s Thursday night game against the Vikings. Watt was initially ruled as questionable after sustaining a groin injury during the first half. Pittsburgh trailed Minnesota 23-0 at halftime. 

Watt entered Thursday’s game with 16 sacks despite missing two games earlier this season. He tied James Harrison’s franchise single-season record after recording 3.5 sacks of Lamar Jackson during last Sunday’s 20-19 win over the Ravens. During that game, Watt joined Hall of Famer Reggie White as the only players in NFL history to record at least 13 sacks in four consecutive seasons. 

A front-runner to win this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award, Watt could also become only the third defensive player to win league MVP. Watt’s MVP candidacy was championed by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier this week. 

“T.J. is seriously one of the best players I’ve ever played against, and I’ve played against some really good defensive guys,” Roethlisberger said. “He truly is a special player. I’m glad I’ve haven’t been sacked by him. He is a game-changer and a game-wrecker. I’ve been a part of guys like that — Troy Polamalu — who can change a football game. It doesn’t happen on defense that often. To be a literal game-changer on defense is something completely special. 

“He should be recognized more than just [Defensive Player of the Year]. He should absolutely get MVP votes as well because that’s the type of player that he is.”

Pittsburgh’s defense was already playing without starting cornerback Joe Haden, who continues to…


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