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Steelers Injury News: Two Starters Miss Practice



Steelers WR Diontae Johnson
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson against the Cincinnati Bengals, Nov. 26, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — It appears that the Pittsburgh Steelers will finally be getting some players back from injury this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Three players who were injured and two who missed games logged full practices for the second straight daty.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he expects the free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and nose tackle Montravius Adams to return to practice this week. If all goes well, return to action against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Well, both logged a second straight day of full practice on Thursday in what seems to be a positive sign for the players. Fitzpatrick has been out since Oct. 29 with a hamstring injury. Adams has missed three games with an ankle injury suffered against the Titans.

The Steelers have played just two series of defense this season with all of their top defenders: Cam Heyward, Alex Highsmith, Fitzpatrick, and T.J. Watt on the field at the same time, and Fitzpatrick’s return could lift a defense that is already fifth in the league in scoring defense and fourth in takeaways.

Adams hasn’t played since he injured his right ankle early in the team’s Week 9 win over the Tennessee Titans. He has been replaced by rookie Keeanu Benton, and with Heyward, Benton, Larry Ogunjobi, and Adams all in the fold, the Steelers could present their toughest defensive line yet.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett was dealing with ankle discomfort, but he practiced in full for the second straight day after Tomlin said it could limit him. As such, it is good to see that and Pickett said that the injury was no big deal.

Wide receiver Calvin Austin III returned to practice and was limited with an ankle injury. That is unsurprising as Tomlin said he could be limited, but the injury is not as significant as they thought.

“It looks significantly better,” Tomlin said. “We’ll watch him and he might be limited some in the early portions of the week.”

Wide receiver Allen Robinson II returned after missing Wednesday with a foot injury. Diontae Johnson was sent home due to an illness, but it is not expected to be anything to worry about. Cornerback James Pierre missed practice with a shoulder injury. Cam Heyward missed practice with a rest/groin injury destination but is likely to play on Sunday.


Player Injury Date  Prognosis Roster Status
DE Cam Heyward Groin/Rest Nov. 30 Minor Active, DNP on Thurs.
CB James Pierre Shoulder Nov. 30 Unknown Active, DNP on Thurs.
WR Diontae Johnson Illness Nov. 30 Unknown Active, DNP on Thurs.
QB Kenny Pickett Ankle Nov. 28 Minor Active, FP on Thurs.
WR/PR Calvin Austin III Ankle Nov. 26 Day to day Active, LP on Thurs.
WR Allen Robinson Foot/Rest Nov. 22 Unknown Active, FP on Thurs.
DB Elijah Riley High ankle sprain Nov. 19 Week to week Injured reserve (Wk. 16)
SS Keanu Neal Rib Nov. 12 Unknown Injured reserve (Wk. 15)
ILB Kwon Alexander Achilles Nov. 12 Out for season Injured reserve
ILB Cole Holcomb Left knee surgery Nov. 2 Out for season Injured reserve
NT Montravius Adams Right ankle Nov. 2 Day to day Active, FP on Thurs.
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick Right hamstring Oct. 29 Day to day Active, FP on Thurs.
LB Chapelle Russell II Knee Aug. 11 Out for season Injured reserve
CB Cory Trice Right ACL tear Aug. 1 Out for season Injured reserve
RB Alfonzo Graham Torn right labrum July 29 Out for season Injured reserve
DT Renell Wren Torn right Achilles tendon May 17 Out for season Injured reserve