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Steelers OLB T.J. Watt not expected to need surgery, could return in six weeks

T.J. Watt's prognosis appears to be improving by the hour.

Watt is still waiting on additional information, but the belief is his pectoral injury suffered Sunday will not require surgery and won't end his season, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported.

There's optimism Watt could return in "six weeks or so," Rapoport added.

The timeline for Watt means he'll likely land on injured reserve, though the Steelers haven't yet made such a roster move. If he ends up on IR, Watt would be required to miss four games before he is eligible to return, according to amended rules agreed upon by the NFL and NFL Players Association in May.

The Steelers began Monday fearing the worst for their star edge rusher and his pectoral injury, but the tone shifted as day turned to night. Instead of bracing for confirmation of a torn pectoral, Pittsburgh has reason for optimism thanks to Watt seeking a second opinion and further information on his injury.

Watt suffered the injury in the final minute of regulation in Sunday's 23-20 overtime win against the Bengals. He could be seen grimacing while being walked to the locker room for further examination.

If the second opinion leads Watt toward a path of recovery and rehabilitation instead of season-ending surgery, the Steelers will consider it a major win, even if he's out the next month. It's much better than the alternative.

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