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Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick Played Through Unbelievable Injury vs. Cardinals



Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 3, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick suffered a broken left hand during his team’s 24-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but Fitzpatrick had a cast fitted to it during an extensive weather delay and didn’t miss a beat.

Fitzpatrick was injured late in the first half, and while the teams stayed in the locker room while a thunderstorm passed through, he got his hand set, according to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

“Minkah, I think, broke his left hand,” Tomlin said. “But they were able to cast it at the extended half, and he was able to finish the game.”

Tomlin gave no further update on Fitzpatrick’s diagnosis or his status for this Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Fitzpatrick played almost the entire game and finished with five tackles. He was making his return from an extended absence for a hamstring injury. Fitzpatrick suffered the hamstring injury in the Steelers’ Week 8 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick walks off the field with an injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Though Tomlin frequently expressed optimism that he might return sooner than he did, Fitzpatrick didn’t return to practice until this week and played his first full game alongside fellow defensive stars Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt.

Fitzpatrick’s was one of a number of injuries on Sunday, as the Steelers lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett (right ankle), left guard Isaac Seumalo (shoulder) and inside linebacker Elandon Roberts (groin). Watt and Diontae Johnson also appeared to be limited by minor ankle injuries late in the game.

A three-time All-Pro, Fitzpatrick is one of the key cogs of the Steelers defense, but has had a disappointing season, even around the injuries. In eight games, he has 59 tackles and two passes defended. He has not had an interception this season after leading the NFL with six in 2022.

The Steelers replaced Fitzpatrick when he was out by moving Damontae Kazee from strong safety to free safety. Kazee was back at his former spot on Sunday, but the Steelers struggled with coverage over the middle, giving up big play after big play to Cardinals tight end Trey McBride.