The Pittsburgh Steelers remain hopeful that defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt will return to the team for the 2022 season, but general manager Kevin Colbert again stopped short of saying that he will when speaking with reporters on Sunday.
Colbert, on a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters at the NFL owner’s meetings in Florida, said that Tuitt remains on the Steelers’ roster, and said he’s “hopeful” that the lineman will return to the team.
“As of now (Stephon) Tuitt is on our team, but we also have Chris Wormley that started last year,” Colbert said via Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “We’re hopeful (Stephon) can continue his career because he’s a significant player. In the meantime Wormley has filled that position and I qualify him as a starter as well.’
Colbert said on March 1 at the 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis that Tuitt has expressed a desire to return to the team, but nothing definitive has happened from either side since then.
Tuitt was in the process of working his way back to shape in training camp when he suffered a knee injury. He got a late start on his 2021 season following the tragic death of his brother in a hit-and-run accident in Georgia.
It’s unclear exactly how or why the combination of family tragedy and injury caused Tuitt to miss the entire 2021 or season, and how it will impact his decision about whether to return to football in 2022. Tuitt has not spoken publicly since his brother’s death.
The rest of the Steelers’ defensive line looks set to return. Tyson Alualu, who missed most of 2021 with a knee injury, is back in the fold, along with 2021 starters Cam Heyward and Chris Wormley.
Carlos Davis, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Henry Mondeaux and re-signed free agent Montravius Adams are also slated to provide depth.