Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin acknowledges that T.J. Watt isn't practicing because of contract negotiations

PITTSBURGH -- Acknowledging T.J. Watt's hold-in for the first time, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said his edge rusher's situation is not all that uncommon.

"Not unique at all, really," Tomlin said Tuesday. "That negotiation process is going to run its course. Some run their courses faster than others. If I remember correctly, Cam Heyward had less than 100% participation when he was in a similar circumstance a short time ago."

Heyward, 32, signed a four-year, $65.6 million extension on the eve of the first regular-season game week in 2020.

Watt has been present at every practice but hasn't participated beyond some individual drills. He spends team periods conditioning on the sideline with trainers and strength and conditioning coaches.

"The business is going to run its course," Tomlin said. "He's highly conditioned. Strength staff is working with him. He's getting in good work days. The process is running its course. In the meanwhile, man, I'm focusing on the guys that are working, their level of productivity and what type of days they've been having."

In Watt's absence, outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, signed just before training camp, is getting an extended evaluation by Tomlin and his staff.

"I challenged Melvin Ingram this morning in the team setting: We're coming after Melvin Ingram today with tackle over, out in that space with some big tight ends like Zach Gentry," Tomlin said. 'Melvin's a run-game bully, so we want to get to know him a little bit today."

The Steelers' practice Tuesday, though, was rained out.