PITTSBURGH — The injury Steelers defensive lineman Tyson Alualu suffered early in the team’s Week 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders was a severe one.
Alualu has a fractured ankle, head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed, and it’s an injury that required surgery and could keep him out for the remainder of the 2021 season, according to a report by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Alualu send a message to the fans on Instagram from a hospital bed late on Sunday evening, with his right leg, ankle and foot in a large cast.
“Through the ups and down, it’s always love,” Alualu wrote. “Truly blessed with the greatest people around me. So grateful for all the love, support and prayers sent this way. I’m in high spirits because I trust God’s plan above everything. To my family, friends and Steeler Nation: I love you and will bounce back as soon as I can.”
Alualu was injured on a rushing play in the first half when his ankle got caught under teammate T.J. Watt, who was also injured in the game. After getting to the sideline with help, Alualu was carted off the field for treatment.
The Steelers replaced him with Isaiah Buggs at nose tackle in their 3-4 alignment and Buggs, Chris Wormley and Isaiahh Loudermilk all took reps alongside Cam Heyward in the Nickel and Dime defenses.
Alualu’s usual backup at nose tackle, Carlos Davis, missed the game with a knee injury.