The Pittsburgh Steelers have been without the services of defensive end Stephon Tuitt for their last two games and the hope is that he won’t miss a third straight game this coming Sunday when the team plays the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field.
According to Missi Matthews of steelers.com, Tuitt said Monday that he’s hopeful he will practice this week as he looks to make it back from a sprained knee that he suffered in Week 6. The former second-round draft pick added that his knee is a lot stronger and that he is taking it day-by-day right now with the training staff.
Stephon Tuitt is hopeful he will practice this week. Says his knee is a lot stronger and he is taking it day-by-day with the training staff.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) November 2, 2015
In the Sunday loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers primarily used nose tackle Steve McLendon in place of Tuitt at left defensive end instead of veteran backup Cam Thomas, who started in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. While Thomas did play 12 snaps in Sunday’s game, 10 of them were in the Steelers nickel defense.
Sunday against the Raiders, the Steelers will face a team that has only allowed 12 sacks all season. However, right guard J’Marcus Webb and right tackle Austin Howard have combined to give up 6 of those 12 sacks, so a player like Tuitt, if healthy, might be able to have some success against them. Tuitt is currently second on the team in sacks with 3.5.
Head coach Mike Tomlin is expected to update the health status of Tuitt on Tuesday during his weekly press conference.