All-Pro Linebacker TJ Watt Almost Died During Trip to Rome Due to Tree Nut Allergy


If you follow football, you know the Watt Brothers. TJ Watt is a 4x all-pro linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and older brother JJ Watt was a five-time all-pro defensive end who played of his career for the Houston Texans. Both have had stellar careers terrorizing the quarterbacks who have faced them.

But what terrorizes the Watt Brothers? According to JJ, pesto sauce, which almost took the life of TJ when the brothers were in Rome on vacation.

JJ Watt explained on the Pat McAfee show this week.

Both brothers have severe tree nut allergies but had no idea the main ingredient in pesto is ground pine nuts. According to JJ, after visiting the Pantheon, the brothers went for lunch, and TJ ate a “massive” pesto dish and literally stopped breathing at the table.

JJ and third brother Derek (a fullback for the Steelers) rushed TJ to the hospital where they waited for an entire hour before they learned TJ would survive. All that time, they “had no idea if he was gonna make it.”

Thankfully, tragedy was averted. TJ recovered and went on to sign a five-year, $112 million deal with the Steelers.

See JJ tell a hilarious story about the Pantheon and a bone-chilling recount of TJ’s brush with anaphylaxis in Rome:

Although TJ had been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector at the time, JJ claims he refused to carry it. As a result, TJ could have died in Italy if his brothers hadn’t gotten him to a hospital in time.

Please take a lesson from the Watt Brothers: If you’ve been prescribed epinephrine, be sure to take two auto-injectors along everywhere, every time, and be sure to administer the first when you first suspect anaphylaxis.

Remember, epinephrine can save your life in an anaphylactic emergency if administered soon after the onset of symptoms, but it can’t save your life if you’ve left it at home or at the pharmacy.

Print or share this article
Click to visit sponsor
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom
Dave Bloom is CEO and "Blogger in Chief" of

Find Allergy-Friendly Products