Bad luck would be better than the luck the Pittsburgh Steelers have had lately. Along with dropping a second straight game to a 2-10 team, both of the team's starting outside linebackers are currently in concussion protocol. T.J. Watt, who was kneed in the head during Pittsburgh's first defensive snap during Thursday night's loss to the Patriots, has joined Alex Highsmith in the protocol, according to team spokesman Burt Lauten.
Watt exited Thursday night's game after his collision with Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott. He later returned to the game wearing a visor. Watt reported having symptoms Friday after not having any during Thursday night's game, according to Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review.
Highsmith entered the concussion protocol after exiting Thursday night's game in the first half. Had Watt not returned, the Steelers would have had a major issue at OLB as rookie Nick Herbig was the only other active player at that position. The team opted to make fellow backup Markus Golden a healthy scratch.
Linebacker has been a cursed position for the Steelers. The team has already lost starting inside linebackers Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander for the season. Fellow ILB Elandon Roberts, who wears the team's green dot, suffered a groin injury during Pittsburgh's Week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He was unable to finish that game but played through the injury on Thursday night.
Watt and Highsmith will obviously have to clear concussion protocol if they are going to play in the Steelers' next game. Pittsburgh has seven days before its next game against the 7-5 Colts in Indianapolis.
Expect Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to provide an update on both players during his weekly Tuesday press conference.