PITTSBURGH — Steelers star free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is anticipated to return against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after practicing fully all week while recovering from a hamstring injury suffered back in October against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I feel good. I feel really good,” he said. “A hammy is a hammy so I might feel it a bit, but sometimes you have to play through. But hopefully when I go out there, I don’t feel it at all.”
However, it is also the first time since he suffered his hamstring injury that he addressed the media about the reported argument he had with wide receiver Diontae Johnson after the Browns game. ESPN reported that the argument escalated to the point where T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward had to separate the two, and then gave a speech following the argument. Johnson did not believe it was anything to worry about.
“It really ain’t nothing,” Johnson said after the Bengals game. “The media don’t need to make it something it ain’t. Y’all are from the outside looking in, like yeah, that’s my brother at the end of the day. Players, we’re going to be players. We’re passionate about the game. Everybody wants to win. You can’t look at it as, ‘Oh, we had an all-out brawl or whatever’; it ain’t that. So, don’t get twisted. Players do it on each and every team. They talk junk to each other. We squashed it. We won the game today; that’s all that matters.”
Minkah Fitzpatrick talked about it on Friday and echoed many of the same sentiments that Johnson had. He likened him to his younger brother, Justice, whom he has spats and arguments with all the time. But Fitzpatrick was the first one celebrating for Johnson on his big catch on Sunday down the sideline, and that will stay that way. Both players view it as a brotherhood with no worries moving forward.
“We’re a brotherhood. Brothers fight. I got a younger brother, me and him butt heads sometimes,” Fitzpatrick said. “Sometimes I put him in a headlock. And sometimes he’s got to give me a little push or shove just to let me know he’s there. It’s a brotherhood. That’s how we love each other sometimes. And at the end of the day, we all make amends. We move forward and chase the same goal together.”
So, that seems to put that in the past. Pittsburgh will hope to capture a win against the 2-10 Cardinals, who are reeling from multiple injuries across the board. Fitzpatrick’s return gives the Steelers a chance to put together their most complete defense of the entire season.