PITTSBURGH — Damontae Kazee has been out since the final preseason game after suffering a severe arm injury that landed him on injured reserve. While they did not activate him for the Eagles game, it is possible that Kazee is back for Pittsburgh’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Pittsburgh seemed to have plans for a three-safety package and significant plans overall for Kazee the player. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was excited about the prospect of a potential Kazee return. While it will depend upon his conditioning level and more, Kazee is stated to have a role.
“He’s a good football player and he’s been working these last couple of weeks,” Austin said. “Hopefully, we’ll have him back in the fold. Depending on his fitness and everything, we will find a role for him. But that’s a good football player and we are happy he’s back.”
Those same plans that started materializing throughout the preseason and training camp are not gone. Secondary coach Grady Brown made sure to clear that up. Kazee’s significant role in the subpackage football that Pittsburgh plays will still exist. It seems likely that Kazee will work as a free safety to help free up Minkah Fitzpatrick in the middle of the field.
“He’s high energy, first of all,” Brown said. “In anybody that’s available, they always provide competition. That competition heightens effort. And when you play with a heightened effort every day in practice, it will affect how you play on the weekend… at the end of the day, the math is who is playing the best and in what form or fashion can you get those guys on the field.”
It sounds like the Steelers have some serious plans for Kazee as long as he is healthy. Those plans could show themselves against the New Orleans Saints as Kazee nears his return. The Steelers must activate Kazee by November 10th or he will miss the rest of the season.