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Minkah Fitzpatrick Makes Impact for Steelers from Sideline



Steelers FS MInkah Fitzpatrick
Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick warms up before the team's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick did not play in the team’s Week 10 game against the Green Bay Packers, but he definitely had an impact on the victory.

Working the sidelines alongside head coach Mike Tomlin, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and defensive backs coach Grady Brown, Fitzpatrick was wearing a headset and engaged in trying to do anything he could to help his replacements surge to victory against the Packers.

He certainly did that, and it was Fitzpatrick who came through with a coaching suggestion that put Damontae Kazee, filling in for him at his free safety spot, in a position to win the game.

With three seconds to play, the Packers had the ball at the Steelers 16-yard line. The Steelers initially lined up in a normal-looking defense, but Fitzpatrick objected. He got in the ear of Brown and then Austin, eventually getting the Steleers to call a timeout so that the full braintrust could talk it over.

When the team came out of the break, Fitzpatrick had his way, as the team had its secondary arrayed in a line across the goal line instead of a standard formation. That’s right where Kazee was standing when he intercepted Jordan Love’s pass to seal the victory for the Steelers.

TV cameras caught Fitzpatrick’s lobbying effort.

“Yeah, I had an idea,” Fitzpatrick said to The Athletic after the game. “So me and (defensive Grady talked TA into changing it.”

The Steelers certainly hope to get Fitzpatrick back onto the field for their Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns. Tomlin had said there was a chance that Fitzpatrick would return to pracitce ahead of the Packers game, but that turned out not to be the case. His status will be monitored this week as he attempts to return from the right hamstring injury he suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8.