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Minkah Fitzpatrick “out” vs. Titans, Kenny Pickett a “game-time decision”

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8, and outside of the final score the main storyline were injuries sustained in the game as they prepare for Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football in Week 9.

On a short week, any player dealing with any injury would be considered questionable at best, but two big injuries were discussed at length when Mike Tomlin met with media Monday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

The first player listed by Tomlin was Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick had an MRI on the hamstring yesterday, and Tomlin said he will be rule out for the game Thursday night. As Tomlin stated, he is simply not going to be available on a short week.

The other big-name injury was to quarterback Kenny Pickett. Pickett’s rib injury had Tomlin state the door will be “definitively ajar” for Pickett to quarterback the team. The Steelers head coach would go on to say Pickett’s availability could be considered a game-time decision.

Tomlin could be trying to keep his cards close to the proverbial vest, but he did go on to say Pickett suffered no structural damage to the ribs, but Pickett’s ability to throw and his overall level of comfort/effectiveness will be the basis on how the Steelers make their decision heading into Week 9.

The Steelers have two players who are in the 21-day return window, and could return to the 53-man roster at any time. Tomlin said both Cam Heyward (groin) and Anthony McFarland Jr. (knee) could be in consideration to possibly return this week.

Injuries to players like Diontae Johnson and Dan Moore Jr., who both left the game but were able to return, were labeled as “bumps and bruises” associated with the physical nature of the game of football.

Tomlin did mention he will have to submit an injury report Monday based on the short week. There is no practice Monday, and the injury report is purely hypothetical. However, Tomlin did say safety Damontae Kazee could be “hypothetically limited” based on the Monday report, so fans shouldn’t be shocked if/when they see this later on Monday.

The Steelers are a banged up team, but nothing a win vs. the Titans won’t fix. Being able to heal their wounds after a win could be the magic elixir this team needs as they head into the proverbial “mini-bye”.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Titans on Thursday Night Football.


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