Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick out, T.J. Watt activated | Zero Tech

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October 30, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; Pittsburgh Steelers security Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) runs off the sphere at halftime in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Monetary Discipline.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports activities

Fitzpatrick will miss his first recreation of the season and solely the second recreation of his profession. Regardless of the crew’s struggles this yr, Fitzpatrick has maintained a excessive degree of play. He is been all around the defensive backfield this yr, racking up six cross defenses together with three interceptions, together with one returned for a landing. Barely in the course of the season, Fitzpatrick is on tempo to hit his profession highs in each numbers, assuming he can get well rapidly from his appendicitis.

In the one recreation Fitzpatrick has missed earlier than this one, which occurred final season, the Steelers began then-rookie seventh-round choose Tre Norwood in his place. Norwood had already made two begins at that time, being one of many first defensive backs to come back off the bench in packages that required 5 – 6 defensive backs, however that was his first recreation taking part in 100% of the crew’s defensive snaps and particularly taking part in in fitzpatrick. function. The Steelers’ cross protection struggled that day in a loss to the Chargers during which quarterback Justin Herbert threw for almost 400 yards. It is laborious in charge the loss on Norwood’s substitute efficiency. However contemplating the Steelers completed 2021 as a high 10 passing protection, some significance will be inferred concerning Fitzpatrick’s absence. This yr, Norwood began instead of an injured Terrell Edmunds in a Week 5 matchup in opposition to the Payments. Once more, correlation does not fairly equal causation, however the crew’s cross protection as soon as once more struggled as quarterback Josh Allen handed for 424 yards and 4 touchdowns on simply 20 completions.

Watt’s return must be heralded in Metal Metropolis as an ideal addition to the protection. Except for outdoors linebacker Alex Highsmith and defensive sort out Cameron Heyward, the Steelers have struggled to supply efficient strain. Pittsburgh will gladly welcome again their star defender who produced 22.5 sacks in simply 15 video games final season. Bringing the reigning Defensive Participant of the Yr again onto the sphere might not totally make up for Fitzpatrick’s absence, nevertheless it positive helps.

Jackson has but to make his Steelers debut after being traded by the Commanders 11 days in the past, and his debut should wait not less than 4 extra video games after being positioned on IR. Jackson had already missed the final three video games with Washington due to a again harm. Though the season is simply over, the Steelers are far sufficient again within the divisional race that there isn’t any level in dashing Jackson again from a again harm earlier than he is prepared.

Lastly, in response to Fitzpatrick’s absence, the Steelers have introduced up security Elijah Riley from the observe squad for this weekend’s recreation in opposition to the Saints.

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Steelers Minkah Fitzpatrick out, T.J. Watt activated


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