Just two days after being released from the hospital for a chest injury suffered during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Monday Night Football win over the Cleveland Browns this week, free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick returned to practice on Thursday, and he and the team aren’t ruling out playing this Sunday.
Fitzpatrick suffered a chest contusion on Monday while tackling Browns running back Nick Chubb on Monday. The hit — which has become controversial — left Chubb with a season-ending knee injury, and left Fitzpatrick dazed.
He stayed in the game, but after running down Browns running back Jerome Ford from behind later in the second half, he was seen vomiting on the sideline and was removed from the game and taken to the hospital as a precaution. Luckily for Fitzpatrick, he got good news.
“It’s just a bruise,” he said. “It first happened on the Chubb play. I couldn’t breathe. I got the wind knocked out of me.”
Now, Fitzpatrick has returned to the practice field. He was a limited participant in practice on Thursday, alongside co-starter Damontae Kazee, who also missed Wednesday’s session.
If Fitzpatrick can participate fully in Friday’s final tune-up, he may be able to avoid missing a game even after the hospital stay.
“They feel good about where he is,” head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday. “We’ll see where the week leads us.”
Fitzpatrick is a three-time All Pro with a penchant for big plays. He led the NFL in interceptions in 2022. Despite just being in his fifth season with the team, Fitzpatrick is already tied for 20th on the franchise’s all-time interceptions list.
The Steelers will make their first road trip of the 2023 season in Week 3, and will be making their first visit to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders on Sunday Night Football.