The Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled mightily since picking up a big season-opening road win against the Cincinnati Bengals. They have lost six of their last seven games, including two straight, but help is on the way.

All-Pro edge rusher, T.J. Watt, hasn’t played for the Steelers since injuring his pectoral muscle in Week 1. The anticipation for his return ramped up on October 26 when his 21-day practice window opened, and now the elite pass rusher said on Friday that he will play on Sunday against the Saints, and he doesn’t expect any restrictions.

It’s been a long time coming. I feel very, very good about the week that I’ve had,” Watt said.

Watt looked to be on his way to another dominant campaign as he kicked off the season with six tackles, a sack, two passes defended, and an interception versus Cincinnati. Pittsburgh totaled seven sacks as a team against the Bengals, but only have eight since, and their 15 on the season ranks 27th in the NFL, a far cry from the previous five years when they led the league in this category each time.

This makes the return of Watt so important, especially this Sunday. The Saints struggle on the interior of their offensive line so defensive tackles Cam Heyward and Ogunjobi have an advantage there. With Watt back, and not on a pitch count as he anticipates, the Saints’ aerial attack may never get to take off.

The Steelers are three and a half games out of first place in the AFC North with nine games to play, so it’s time to put the pedal to the medal if they want any chance at a postseason play. Getting Watt in the mix certainly helps their case, but he’ll have to be Superman every week for that to become a reality.

Feature image via Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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