To play or not to play your starters in pre-season is the age old question. It happens every year, it seems, that a star player gets banged up during meaningless games. This season it happened to be a former Wisconsin Badgers Star. He also happens to be the reigning Defensive Player of The Year. TJ Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to suffer an injury during the team’s final pre-season game.
T.J. Hockenson Injured T.J. Watt on a cut block:
pic.twitter.com/VrGlEL1KzP #Steelers TJ Watt play he was injured on.
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) August 28, 2022
This type of play is what can terrify players, coach staff, and fans alike. While legal, this is a dangerous hit on any defensive player. All it takes is one freak play and a player’s entire season will be over before it starts. Fortunately for T.J. Watt, it seems like the severity of this injury is extremely low. In fact Mike Tomlin, the Steelers head coach, said that Watt may have gone back into the game if it was regular season.
The Packers made a decision based on this possibility :
We saw a freak injury with Jordy Nelson when he tore his ACL during the 2015 pre-season. Going into the 2022 season there was a lot of talk of starters playing against the Kansas City Chiefs. However they ended up playing nearly all backups. In total, the Packers sat out 25 players during the pre-season finale.
Coach Matt LaFleur determined earlier in the week that his important veteran starters wouldn’t play. The reasoning: “It’s a long season, and no team can afford to have a major injury in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.”
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