Mike Tomlin: T.J. Watt, Joe Haden among those with an opportunity to play this week

Steelers star edge rusher T.J. Watt had to miss most of last Thursday’s loss to the Vikings while dealing with a groin injury. But the extended break between games may help him, because there’s a chance he won’t miss any more time.

In his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned Watt as one of the players who has an “opportunity” to get back on the field and play this week. Tomlin also mentioned edge rusher Alex Highsmith has a chance to be ready for Sunday after suffering a knee contusion against the Vikings.

Watt is a prime defensive player of the year candidate as he currently leads the league with 16.0 sacks. He also has 16 tackles for loss, 27 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries, and four passes defensed.

Tomlin added that cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker Robert Spillane, defensive end Isaiah Buggs, center J.C. Hassenauer, offensive tackle Joe Haeg, and defensive tackle Carlos Davis all have a chance to return for this week’s matchup with Tennessee. Hassenauer is currently on injured reserve and would have to be designated to return.

Haden started eight games at cornerback before suffering a foot injury in the Week 10 tie with the Lions. He hasn’t played since then.

Haden has recorded 24 total tackles, five passes defensed, and a forced fumble in 2021.