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Cam Heyward Hints at Faster Than Expected Return



Steelers Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward walks off the field after an injury against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Cam Heyward will be back this season. But the question remains when he will return after core muscle surgery last week. When he got injured against the 49ers, it was reported the Steelers expected their captain and All-Pro defensive tackle to miss up to eight weeks following the surgery. Yet, Heyward refuses to put himself on such a timeline.

Heyward’s podcast, Not Just Football, discussed the injury and the road to recovery. It will involve rehab, but Heyward is off crutches and working back by rehabbing already. He thinks he can shatter the eight-week timeline and return to the field far before that date.

“There’s timetables out there but I’m not a regular person,” Heyward said. “Every injury I’ve been a part of, I’ve been cleared earlier than expected. It’s not going to stop me from working. Timetables are for other people, I make my own.”

Heyward refuses to sit down and do nothing. Some of the members of his family want him to do just that. But Cam Heyward works daily to return to the field immediately. The first game he would be eligible to return is following the bye week against the Los Angeles Rams. Generally, that is seen as a long shot, with Pittsburgh’s game against the Packers on November 12th figuring a suitable return date. But as Heyward said, he’s not an average person.

“Physically, I’m upright, I’m walking around,” Heyward said. “Taking it one step at a time. I can’t rush the process. I need to make sure I do everything possible to push this thing forward. I’ve got family members who think I should be taking my sweet ass time. I’ve got work to do. Hitting the rehab and just trying to get after it is what I’m doing.”

The team promoted Breiden Fehoko to the active roster on Wednesday. That indicates the Steelers want to push some pieces around and find out what they have in that defensive line room with Heyward out. But his return is substantial for the Steelers to hit their stride as a full-on defense. Until then, there remain questions about the players there.