In addition to losing center Maurkice Pouncey for an extended amount of time Sunday in their preseason win over the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers also saw one of their starting defensive ends along with their backup quarterback go down. After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin updated the status of Stephon Tuitt and Bruce Gradkowski.
“Stephon Tuitt has an ankle but that appears to be just your classic ankle,” said Tomlin. “He’ll be down a couple of weeks or so. Bruce Gradkowski had a finger, but other than that we have the normal bumps and bruises.”
The Steelers have less than three weeks to get Tuitt back healthy and it’s obvious at this point that he won’t play the remainder of the preseason. If he’s unable to play in the regular season Thursday night opener against the New England Patriots, Cam Thomas might be the player who starts in his place.
The Steelers normally like to keep six defensive linemen on their final 53 man roster so Tuitt’s injury could result in rookie draft pick L.T Walton dressing for the opener if he makes the final cut. Walton, who was drafted in the sixth round, is battling Ethan Hemer for the sixth spot on the defensive line.
Tuitt was drafted last year by the Steelers in the second round out of Notre Dame and while he played sparingly early on his rookie season, he finally started to show some promise during the final few games.