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Steelers Rule Two Defensive Starters Out vs. Seahawks



Steelers Fitzpatrick Roberts
Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and inside linebacker Elandon Roberts make a tackle against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 2, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers have ruled two defensive starters out for their must-win game against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17.

The Steelers announced on Friday that free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and inside linebacker Elandon Roberts will both miss the game. Strong safety Trenton Thompson had already said he will not play. Quarterback Kenny Pickett is questionable.

Fitzpatrick was injured in the second quarter of the Steelers’ Week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. He has not yet returned to practice, though he has started to jog and do stretches on his injured left knee.

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Fitzpatrick will once again be replaced by cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has been playing out of position at free safety ever since Fitzpatrick went down against the Colts. Usual backup Damontae Kazee has been suspended for the rest of the 2023 season for a hit he made one play before Fitzpatrick’s injury in Indianapolis.

Practice squad veteran Eric Rowe will be the other safety, as Keanu Neal (rib) remains on the injured reserve list and Trenton Thompson (neck stinger) is out this week and next week. Elijah Riley and Miles Killbrew will be the depth options at the position this week.

Roberts has been out since he suffered a pectoral injury in the team’s Week 16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He did not practice at all this week and will miss his first game since the end of the 2020 season.

Myles Jack, another veteran from the practice squad, will replace Roberts, and become the 14th different player to start at safety or inside linebacker for the Steelers this season. A combination of Blake Martinez, Mark Robinson and Mykal Walker will man the other spot next to Jack, who is expected to wear the green dot communication helmet for the defense.


Player Injury Date  Prognosis Roster Status
RB Najee Harris Knee Dec. 27 Day to day Active, FP on Fri.
LG Isaac Seumalo Shoulder Dec. 27 Day to day Active, DNP on Fri.
ILB Elandon Roberts Left pectoral muscle Dec. 23 Week to week Active, OUT vs. SEA
SS Trenton Thompson Neck stinger Dec. 16 Day to day Active, OUT vs. SEA
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick Left knee Dec. 16 Day to day Active, OUT vs. SEA
QB Kenny Pickett Right ankle surgery Dec. 3 Day to day Active, QUES vs. SEA
SS Keanu Neal Rib Nov. 12 Week to week IR (Wk. 15), OUT vs. SEA
ILB Kwon Alexander Achilles Nov. 12 Out for season Injured reserve
ILB Cole Holcomb Left knee surgery Nov. 2 Out for season Injured reserve
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