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T.J. Watt moves past “freak injury” that derailed first half of 2022 season

From the 2007 Giants to the 2005 Steelers, Mike Florio and Chris Simms select the best teams that entered the NFL playoffs with a low seed and made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

The Steelers are great when T.J. Watt is on the field. Without him, they’re not.

We saw it last year. Watt suffered a Week One pec injury that caused him to miss seven games. The Steelers lost six of them.

Watt is trying not to regret in hindsight an injury that was unavoidable.

“I have talked to so many different people, and there was absolutely nothing I could have done in the offseason or working out to stop what happened to my pec,” Watt told Mark Kaboly of “You have to continue to tell yourself that it was just a freak injury.”

Freak injuries happen. Bad luck happens. Shit, literally, happens. It happened to Watt, in the first season after tying the single-season sack record of 22.5.

“You think about it a lot, but then you realize it’s part of the game,” Watt told Kaboly. “Once you understand that, it becomes tolerable to deal with.”

Part of Watt’s game down the stretch in 2022 entailed playing with a harness that restricted his movements.

“I was not 100 percent for a lot of the games, and it was frustrating,” Watt told Kaboly. “I just wanted to play football, and I couldn’t the way I wanted to. It was tough. . . . It wasn’t easy. It sucked not being able to participate and not being able to put your hand in the pile.”

If Watt can get and stay a 100 percent this year, the Steelers could find themselves not just surviving but thriving among a collection of very viable AFC North contenders.