Steelers’ TJ Watt confirms NFL fine, discloses allergy that resulted in emergency hospital escort from James Harrison

On a recent episode of Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast, the newly crowned Defensive Player of the Year disclosed that he has a wicked tree nut allergy. Tree nuts include the likes of almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and Brazil nuts.

Among the incidents that the Steelers linebacker has encountered is a bad reaction to hotel lo mein before his brother JJ won one of his own Defensive Player of the Year awards.

“Once in Pittsburgh in an emergency James Harrison drove me to the hospital,” Watt said. “My face looked like I went five rounds with Mike Tyson. One year at the Super Bowl, my dad jokingly threw a pecan at me, and it hit me in the face and my face blew up. “

Watt added he doesn’t think that he is allergic to almonds, though. Watt says his fiancée di lei, Wisconsin soccer alum Dani Rhodes, carries an EpiPen with her.

“I’ve always envied pecan pie. It always smells so good. But I could never eat it, ”Watt said.

I know, does the NFL now have the answer to what might be TJ Watt’s kryptonite? What’s going to happen next year? Are AFC North offensive linemen going to slam handfuls of pistachios into their mouths before every series and start breathing heavily on Watt anytime they can actually stay close to him? Will pecan pie be part of the pregame meal for every right tackle on the Steelers schedule?

Regardless, I think it’s time for the Steelers to petition the league to test all opponents for tree nuts in their system before every game in an effort to derail any nefarious activity. Based on Watt’s performance di lui last year, it may be the only way to stop him.

Furthermore, if the NFL can ban cell phone usage in the locker room 90 minutes before game time, then I think it should ban all nuts from the sidelines, too.

Speaking of which, Watt also let it be known that he did actually get fined for claiming that he checked his phone during halftime of the season finale in Baltimore. Watt made the comment during a recent interview with the “Dan Patrick Show” that he checked his phone after believing that he had gotten the NFL’s sack record, only to find out that his first sack against Tyler Huntley didn’t count.


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As you may remember, it appeared as if Watt had two sacks during the first half of the Week 18 victory in Baltimore. But Watt’s first tackle of Huntley in the backfield wasn’t ruled to be a sack because it was a botched snap.

As a result, the Steelers All-Pro only ended up tying Michael Strahan’s 2001 mark of 22.5 sacks in a season, instead of breaking it.

“I thought I had two, but I checked my phone, because our d-line coach was like ‘they’re giving it to you, they’re giving it to you, you have it,’” Watt said. “Then a couple of guys are like ‘no, you’re not.’ So, I checked my phone at halftime, which I never do, and then JJ, my brother, was in a group chat, was like ‘they only gave you one, man. You got to go get another one. ‘”

Watt was docked $ 10,000. During the Barstool interview, Watt said he made the comment in jest. But the NFL fined him anyway.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or on Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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