The Pittsburgh Steelers got a significant boost ahead of a crucial rivalry game against the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh activated pass rusher T.J. Watt from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, the team announced.
The move allows Watt to play in Sunday's game against the Ravens. The contest will take place in Pittsburgh.
Watt, 27, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday. The team did not reveal whether Watt tested positive for COVID-19.
Under NFL policy, vaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible to return if they test negative twice in a 24-hour window. Unvaccinated players who test positive must miss 10 days. Unvaccinated players can also be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list if they come into close contact with someone who tested positive. Unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine for 5 days if they are considered a close contact.
The Steelers reportedly sent Watt practice footage all week in case he was able to return in time to play, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.
Through nine games, Watt has 41 tackles and 12.5 sacks.
Steelers need a win against Ravens
Getting Watt back in time to play against Baltimore should give the Steelers a significant boost. The Steelers currently sit at 5-5-1, and are fighting to remain in the playoff race. A win against Baltimore would go a long way toward keeping Pittsburgh in the hunt in a tough AFC.
Picking up a win won't be easy. Baltimore is 8-3 and currently leads the AFC North. The New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans are the only other teams in the AFC with eight wins.