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Steelers Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick Likely To Play Sunday After Practicing For 2nd Straight Day

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

Steelers Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick Likely To Play Sunday After Practicing For 2nd Straight Day

Early in the week, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced that star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was in the concussion protocol. Tomlin didn’t mention anything of this after the Thursday night loss to the Cleveland Browns, so Fitzpatrick seemingly suffered the head injury in practice.

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick celebrating after a tackle in a Nov. 8, 2021 win over the Chicago Bears

Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / TNS

When Tomlin announced that in his weekly press conference on Tuesday, the safety’s status for this weekend seemed in doubt. On Thursday, he practiced for the second consecutive day according to the Steelers’ daily practice report from ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, signifying he’s trending in a positive direction.

Elsewhere, starters Kevin Dotson and Pressley Harvin III were full participants at practice as well. Similar to Fitzpatrick, those two seem like they will play this weekend, barring anything unforeseen happening. As for corner Ahkello Witherspoon, his status looks a bit more bleak. He didn’t participate at all in Thursday’s practice due to his hamstring injury, not a good sign for his Week 4 status.

On a defense that is already without reigning Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt, the secondary couldn’t afford to lose a guy like Fitzpatrick. Throughout the off-season, he was receiving shouts from all over the league on making a run at the DPOY this season. In fact, he even set that as a personal goal for himself for the 2022 season. Through three games, he’s been the team’s best defensive player along with Alex Highsmith.

In Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, he got a pick-six early in the game off Joe Burrow. Fitzpatrick then displayed his physicality in the form of 14 tackles, as he followed that performance up with another interception in Week 2. After a somewhat quiet Week 3, the Steelers will need his playmaking abilities back in full force. It’s a must-win at Acrisure Stadium this weekend, as the black and gold have a difficult schedule beyond Week 4.

steelers, Mitch Trubisky,

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – SEPTEMBER 18: Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during the second half in the game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The secondary struggled in that Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, as quarterback Jacoby Brissett had his way for a majority of the night. David Njoku and Amari Cooper enjoyed big nights, and the task won’t get much easier this weekend. Starting cornerback Akhello Witherspoon‘s status is in doubt, and the Jets possess a plethora of weapons.

Yinz, how badly does this defense need Fitzpatrick? Can he make a legitimate run at Defensive Player of the Year? What are your thoughts on his start to the season? Share your thoughts and opinions on Fitzpatrick in the comment section below!

#SteelerNation

 

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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