Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is not committing to anything regarding T.J. Watt beyond his play status for Week 2.

“We’re probably in a lot better place than we were after the game,” said the Steelers head coach. “I can definitely say that T.J. won’t play this week but I won’t make any commitments beyond that. We’re encouraged.”

That’s huge news for a Steelers fanbase that was getting ready for the worst news regarding Watt. The team is currently looking into second and third opinions regarding the superstar pass rusher’s injury.

Asked if T.J. would go into Injured Reserve, Tomlin pointed out they have time. He’s right. The Steelers can wait until the end of the week to make such a roster move and still have Week 2 to count as one of the four games he’d have to miss after being placed on IR.

During a follow-up question, Mike Tomlin confirmed that the Steelers are not looking at a worst-case scenario with the pec injury. However, he clarified the team won’t rule out surgery while looking into additional opinions.

In the meantime, Tomlin said the Steelers’ leading candidates to replace Watt’s role as outside linebacker are Malik Reed and Jamir Jones.

“Those guys are not going to be T.J. It’s not realistic to think they are,” said the Steelers head coach, pointing out that the goal will be to redistribute the defensive responsibilities. Tomlin also said Pittsburgh needs outside help at least for practice purposes at the position.

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