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Steelers Injury Updates: Minkah Fitzpatrick in Concussion Protocol; 3 Others to be Limited

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Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is in the concussion protocol, head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday, and three other Steelers are expected to at least be limited in practice by injury this week as the team prepares for its Week 4 game against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday.

Tomlin said that Fitzpatrick complained of symptoms after the team’s 29-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He finished the game without apparent issue. Teams do not typically update the status on players in the concussion protocol until they return to practice fully.

The Steelers do not have an experienced backup to Fitzpatrick in terms of play at free safety available to them at the moment. Damontae Kazee is Fitzpatrick’s backup, but is currently both suspended and on the injured reserve.

Second-year defensive back Tre Norwood is listed as Fitzpatrick’s backup and has worked with the second-team defense since Kazee’s injury. The vast majority of Norwood’s playing time has come as a Nickel and Dime defender in the slot, as opposed to at safety, where Fitzpatrick dominates the available reps.

Elijah Riley, who does have some experience from when he was with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, is on the practice squad.

The Steelers have another injury in the secondary, as cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has not yet recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered at Cleveland and is expected to be limited in practice this week.

Without Witherspoon, the team used Cam Sutton more as an outside cornerback, and Art Maulet more as a slot defender. It’s not clear how the Steelers would adjust to being without both Witherspoon and Fitzpatrick if it came to that. Tomlin said on Tuesday he wasn’t ready to consider contingencies to Fitzpatrick not playing.

The team had two other injuries from Thursday that Tomlin was not aware of immediately after the game. Kevin Dotson suffered an ankle injury and could be limited through this week. Kendrick Green would replace Dotson if he’s unable to play. 

Punter Pressley Harvin III is dealing with some hip inflammation and will be monitored, according to Tomlin. The team is expected to sign veteran Jordan Berry to their practice squad as a stopgap.

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