According to several media reports Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt has said that he will make his first career start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals now that veteran defensive end Brett Keisel has been lost for the season.
Tuitt, the Steelers second-round draft pick, has played a total of 172 snaps so far this season. In the loss to the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday, the Notre Dame product played a season-high 29 snaps and most of them came after Keisel exited the game with a torn triceps.
Tuitt will be the third Steelers rookie to start a game this season as linebacker Ryan Shazier and Daniel McCullers have also managed to start at least one game each through the first 12 games of the season.
While this news isn’t very surprising, it very well could be a sign that nose tackle Steve McLendon wont be ready to play Sunday against the Bengals. McLendon has been battling a right shoulder injury for several weeks now and if unable to play against the Bengals, Cam Thomas will likely start once again at nose tackle.
We’ll know more about McLendon’s status later on ij the week as Friday figures to be the key day for him.