Steelers star LB T.J. Watt exits concussion protocol, clearing the way for him to play vs. Colts #Steelers #star #T.J #Watt #exits #concussion #protocol #clearing #play #Colts

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers star outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been cleared from the concussion protocol by an independent neurologist, meaning he will be available to play on Saturday against Indianapolis.

Watt entered the protocol on Friday when he reported concussion-like symptoms less than 24 hours after a loss to New England. Watt took a knee to the facemask from New England running back Ezekiel Elliott on the first play from scrimmage in what became a 21-18 defeat.

The perennial All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year candidate missed a handful of snaps and was cleared to return to the game. He did wear a tinted visor starting with New England’s second offensive possession, but no explanation was given for the move.

Watt was a limited participant in practice on Tuesday and a full participant on Wednesday before being cleared by an independent neurological consultant.

The Steelers (7-6) plan to place no restrictions on Watt or fellow outside linebacker Alex Highsmith if both are available. Highsmith is still in the protocol after leaving the Patriots game in the first quarter with what was initially called a neck injury. Highsmith was a limited participant on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

“That’s on them,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said Wednesday. “If they can do it, I’m not taking them off (the field).”

Watt and Highsmith have combined for 20 sacks, 43 quarterback hits, five forced fumbles, two interceptions and two touchdowns, and are two of the main reasons Pittsburgh (7-6) is still in the playoff hunt despite an offense that has struggled to score points.



#Steelers #star #T.J #Watt #exits #concussion #protocol #clearing #play #Colts

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