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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Place Cam Heyward on Injured Reserve



Steelers Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward walks off the field after an injury against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 10, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed defensive tackle Cam Heyward on the injured reserve list, the team announced on Thursday.

Heyward suffered what was reported by the Steelers as a groin injury during the team’s season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

It has been since reported that he will undergo surgery for a core muscle injury, commonly known as a sports hernia. Heyward is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.

Players that are put on the injured reserve list must remain on the list for at least four weeks. The Steelers can return a maximum of eight players from the injured reserve over the course of the season. Heyward is the first player added to the injured reserve that is eligible to return.

Once the team designated him to return from the IR, Heyward can return to practice. That will open a 21-day window during which he can be returned to the 53-man roster. If the window closes and the team does not return Heyward to the active roster, he then must spend the rest of the season on the injured reserve list.

The Steelers are expected to use a variety of players to replace Heyward, including Keeanu Benton, DeMarvin Leal, Isaiahh Loudermilk and Armon Watts.

Steelers DT Cam Heyward

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward, Nov. 20, 2022. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The 34-year-old team captain has been incredibly healthy in his career. Only one — back in 2016 — has he played fewer than 15 games in a season, a number he will assuredly fall short of in 2023.

He is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, despite his age. Heyward was a first-team All-Pro selection for the second time in 2022 after recording 10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and four passes defended last season.

The Steelers did not place wide receiver Diontae Johnson on the injured reserve list in their series of transactions on Thursday. Wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster to replace Heyward.