PITTSBURGH — Welcome back, Pat Freiermuth. The tight end is returning to the practice field for the first time after the bye week when he aggravated a hamstring injury that landed him on injured reserve. They have opened the 21-day practice window for him to participate in practice while on IR.
Freiermuth appears to be on track to make his return to the lineup this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and activating his practice window is the first step. It allows Freiermuth to practice this week while he remains on the injured reserve list.
In order for Freiermuth to play this Sunday in Cleveland, he will have to be reinstated from the injured reserve to the 53-man roster. The Steelers currently have two vacancies on that roster, after waiving nose tackle Breiden Fehoko and putting linebacker Kwon Alexander on IR earlier this week.
“I feel good about Pat Freiermuth and we’ll watch him go through the week and look at the quality of his work, how much of it and how he feels and let that be the determining factor,” Tomlin said. “I feel good about his potential availability.”
Those words echoed what Freiermuth said last week, when he said he planned to practice and hoped to be able to participate when the Steelers visit the Browns on Sunday.
“I’m not gonna jinx it this time,” he said last Wednesday after running off to the side while his teammates practiced.
In practice, Freiermuth looked fluid and all good to go. He could be the boost Pittsburgh is searching for hin their passing attack that has gone stagnant over the last few weeks.
Freiermuth has eight catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. The third-year Penn State product had 63 grabs for 732 yards and two scores last season.