Pittsburgh Steelers Activate Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick From COVID-19 List – Community News

Pittsburgh Steelers Activate Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick From COVID-19 List

PITTSBURGH — At least one important piece returns to the Pittsburgh Steelers defense ahead of Sunday’s AFC North game with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The team activated security Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday morning.

“He looks like he’s there for me 100 percent,” said defensive coordinator Keith Butler. “He’ll practice today and see how he feels, that sort of thing.”

Fitzpatrick tested positive for the virus on November 15 and was activated for the active roster after a mandatory 10-day stay on COVID-19 protocols.

Without Fitzpatrick — and two other key contributors in pass rusher TJ Watt and cornerback Joe Haden — the Steelers defense struggled to contain the powerful Los Angeles Chargers charge. In Fitzpatrick’s absence, rookie safety Tre Norwood ended up playing every snap.

Fitzpatrick isn’t the only defensive player the Steelers hope to have back on the field against the Bengals. Watt, who injured his hip and knee in a fourth-quarter sack against the Detroit Lions, returned to training on Wednesday as a limited participant. Watt missed the first meeting against the Bengals after sustaining a groin injury a week earlier, and fellow winger linebacker Alex Highsmith was also out of that game with a groin injury of his own.

Haden, who suffered a midfoot sprain in the same game, didn’t practice on Wednesday, but coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday he also expected to return to training sometime this week.

“I’m really happy with it,” Butler said of getting Fitzpatrick back. “And the ability to get the other guys back too, that always helps. The last time we played against them, we had a few people behind.

“That those guys come back and can play means a lot to us, means a lot to everyone on the pitch. They are used to playing with each other. It will undoubtedly be better for us.”