REPORT: T.J. Watt Could Miss Steelers’ First Game Of Season vs Bills Amid Contract Dispute

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was a strength for the team in 2020 thanks in large part to the play of their star pass rusher, T.J. Watt. Entering 2021, Watt is considered one of the favorites to win this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award. That is, of course, if he plays, which is not the case entering Week 1.

 According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Watt’s availability for the Steelers’ season opener against the Bills on Sunday appears “in doubt” barring a last-minute agreement on a new contract. The Pro Bowler did not fully participate in a single team practice throughout training camp, and his practice status ahead of Sunday’s matchup has not changed while he seeks a pay raise.

Watt, who is coming off a breakout season, recording a career-high 15 sacks n 2020, is not considered a holdout considering he attended every practice since training camp began. But he participated exclusively in individual drills during camp, working out away from the rest of the team in an effort to accelerate talks on a new deal.