The Pittsburgh Steelers may have averted disaster just weeks before the start of the regular season.
Pro Bowlers TJ Watt and Diontae Johnson left Sunday’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions with injuries.
According to head coach Mike Tomlin, neither should have suffered anything that would prevent them from entering “in the long run”.
Watt left the match with a knee injury shortly after receiving a cut block. The three-time All-Pro was seen on the sidelines later without a wrap or knee brace.
Johnson suffered an apparent shoulder injury after making a catch midway through the first quarter. Like Watt, Johnson was seen on the sidelines in street clothes later in the game.
Although it looks like Watt and Johnson are ready for Week 1, there will likely be questions about why the Steelers played them in a meaningless preseason game, risking potential injury.
Watt is coming off one of the best seasons of his five-year NFL career. The 23-year-old led the league with 22.5 sacks, posting 64 tackles (21 for loss) and five forced fumbles.
Meanwhile, Johnson earned his first Pro Bowl nod last season. The 26-year-old finished with career highs in receptions (107), yards (1,161) and touchdowns (eight) in 16 regular season games for the Steelers.