The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without starting cornerback Akhello Witherspoon against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Acrisure Stadium –– and the Bengals will be without top receiver Ja’Marr Chase, as well.
Both Witherspoon and Chase were declared inactive during the Steelers’ official pregame injury report.
Along with Witherspoon, the Steelers will take on the AFC North rival Bengals without quarterback Mason Rudolph, cornerback Josh Jackson, guard Kendrick Green, and linebacker Mark Robinson.
This news is surprisingly positive for the Steelers, who have battled injury issues throughout the 2022 NFL season.
All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recently had an appendectomy and missed the team’s Week 10 showdown against the New Orleans Saints. That injury was expected to keep Fitzpatrick out of action for multiple weeks, but that isn’t the case.
Fitzpatrick is back and ready to roll against the Bengals.
“It’s pretty good,” Fitzpatrick said of the recovery this week. “Obviously, you feel it a few days off of surgery, on the table. You feel it. I just want to keep working and when Sunday comes around, we’ll see how I feel.”
Turns out, Fitzpatrick felt fine, and he’s cleared to go against Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
The rest of the Steelers’ inactive report won’t surprise anyone following the team.
But the bigger story comes on the Bengals side.
The 5-4 Bengals will be without one of the best receivers in football in Chase as well as punter Kevin Huber, safety Dax Hill, running back Chris Evans, defensive tackle Josh Tupou, offensive tackle D’Ante Smith, and guard Jackson Carmen.
The Steelers defeated the Bengals, 23-20, in overtime during their Week 1 encounter in Cincinnati.