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Steelers Injury Updates: Minkah Fitzpatrick Practiced Fully, Ahkello Witherspoon DNP

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Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick

Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice as the team continued its preparations for the Week 4 matchup with the New York Jets, but fellow defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon did not practice.

Fitzpatrick remains in the NFL concussion protocol after reporting symptoms following the Steelers’ loss to the Cleveland Browns last Thursday, but his full participation on Wednesday is a very strong sign toward his availability this Sunday. Typically, the 24 hours following the first strenuous exercise is a critical period for those recovering from concussions, so Fitzpatrick’s status for Thursday’s practice remains worth monitoring.

Witherspoon injured his hamstring against the Browns and was unable to finish the game. He told Steelers Now after the game it was nothing major, but was held out of practice on Wednesday. He still has two practice sessions this week to get into the lineup.

Cam Sutton remained on the outside with Levi Wallace to replace Witherspoon, with Art Maulet absorbing the extra reps as a slot corner. With Damontae Kazee on the injured reserve list and suspended for three games, Tre Norwood would replace Fitzpatrick at free safety if Fitzpatrick is unable to play. Fitzpatrick leads all Steelers with 240 snaps of defense this seasons.

Two other players on the injured list were full participants on Wednesday, as left guard Kevin Dotson (ankle) and punter Pressley Harvin III (hip) were full go on Wednesday after playing through pain against the Browns. Kendrick Green is Dotson’s backup at guard. Jordan Berry was signed on Tuesday as insurance in case Harvin cannot play.

Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (pec) did some individual drills on Wednesday. He must miss the Jets game and the team’s Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills while on injured reserve. He is eligible to return to practice starting next week.

Kazee and wide receiver Calvin Austin III will both spend their fourth week on injured reserve this Sunday. Austin is eligible to practicing now, but has not been designated to return at this point. Kazee must miss the next two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

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