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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers ‘Optimistic’ about Star Safety’s Return from Injury



Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without star outside linebacker T.J. Watt for their Wild Card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, but they are optimistic that All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will be able to make a return.

Fitzpatrick suffered a left knee injury during the second quarter of the Steelers’ Week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to practice for the first time last week, and was listed as questionable to play against the Baltimore Ravens, but was ruled inactive just before the game.

Fitzpatrick said after the game that he plans to play against the Bills this week, and Tomlin feels confident that will be the case.

“Minkah will be limited at the early portions of the week,” Tomlin said. “We’ll let the amount of his participation and the quality of his participation be our guide, but we’re optimistic about his inclusion.”

Tomlin ruled Watt out with his knee injury that he suffered in the third quarter against the Ravens on Saturday. Watt is expected to miss multiple weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

Tomlin did not provide updates on safeties Keanu Neal (rib) and Trenton Thompson (neck). Neal has been eligible to return from the injured reserve list since Week 15, but has not yet returned to practice, even though Tomlin would not say that his injury was season-ending. 

Thompson said he hoped to return this week from a neck injury suffered against the Colts on Dec. 16.

Tomlin said that inside linebacker Elandon Roberts (pec) may be limited early in the week, but he should once again be expected to play. Roberts returned last week after missing just one game with his pec injury, but wore a large brace against the Ravens and played less than his usual number of reps.

Safety Damontae Kazee is returning to the team after a three-week suspension, and Tomlin said that his conditioning will be evaluated before he’s slotted into a role for this week.


Player Injury Date  Prognosis Roster Status
OLB T.J. Watt Left knee MCL sprain Jan. 6 Multiple weeks Active, OUT vs. BUF
RB Najee Harris Knee Jan. 2 Minor Active
LG Isaac Seumalo Shoulder Jan. 2 Minor Active
ILB Elandon Roberts Left pectoral muscle Dec. 23 Minor Active, LP this week
SS Trenton Thompson Neck stinger Dec. 16 Day to day Active, TBD
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick Left knee Dec. 16 Day to day Active, LP this week
SS Keanu Neal Rib Nov. 12 TBD IR (Wk. 15), TBD
ILB Kwon Alexander Achilles Nov. 12 Out for season Injured reserve
ILB Cole Holcomb Left knee surgery Nov. 2 Out for season Injured reserve
DE Cam Heyward Groin Sept. 10 Minor Active
ILB 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