NFL News & Analysis

T.J. Watt highlights the list of key Steelers' who'll be out Week 3 vs. Bengals

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) pass rushes against Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Daryl Williams (75) in the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

 The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense will be short-handed for the second straight week on Sunday when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Star edge defender T.J. Watt was ruled out Saturday morning with a groin injury. Pittsburgh also will be down outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, who’s also dealing with a groin injury.

Watt and Highsmith are not expected to be out long-term with their injuries, but they will not play Sunday. Melvin Ingram will take on a bigger role on the edge while Jamir Jones also could see extensive snaps. 

The Steelers also ruled out wide receiver Diontae Johnson (knee) on Friday. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is currently doubtful with a shoulder injury despite practicing in a limited fashion Friday.

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Watt injury leading to further line correction: After opening at a -5.5 spread, the line has moved in the Bengals direction, as only a field goal separates these two teams currently. It's a little late to join the Bengals side in this matchup, but PFF's projections point toward that being the only viable option. Click here for PFF's betting dashboard. 

Bet the over on Burrow's rushing prop: With the Steelers defense needing to blitz to generate pressure with Watt sidelined, expect Burrow to make some moves with his legs. His over 3.5 rushing yardage prop is one of the best bets on Sunday. Click here for PFF's payer prop tool. 


High Watt Voltage: Watt is one of the few pass-rushers in the NFL with game-wrecking potential. He has eight elite-graded (above 90.0) regular-season games since 2019, which is two more than anyone else at the position. Click here to find PFF's NFL player grades.

Next Man Up: Pittsburgh is still well equipped to get pressure on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on Sunday without him. The Steelers still have the highest-graded interior defensive lineman in the NFL through two weeks — Cameron Heyward — going up against one of the 10 lowest-graded interior offensive lines. Click here to find PFF's OL/DL matchup chart.

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