Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: DE Stephon Tuitt
Stock Value: Up
Stephon Tuitt’s 2019 season ended prematurely after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the sixth week of the season, just a couple of plays into the game. By that point, he was already off to the best start of his career, having compiled 18 tackles (including six for a loss) and three and a half sacks over the course of the first five weeks of the year.
We have not heard a great deal about the 26-year-old since he was injured back in October, and we haven’t talked about him much, either. That was in part due to the fact that the defense was able to retain a high level of play even without him, with the rest of the front four—Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Bud Dupree—all stepping up their game in his absence.
The last we heard of him was back in late February, when general manager Kevin Colbert briefly touched on his status during the Combine. At that time, he told reporters, more or less, that all was well, saying that he was “totally on schedule” with his injury recovery while the season was still going on, and that they anticipated him being a full-go whenever football resumes in some capacity.
Of course, this was all before the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic set in. likely, we won’t be seeing anything resembling football any time soon, perhaps not until the time of training camp, at the earliest, so it’s not even urgent as to how well along he might be in his recovery from the pectoral injury that he suffered exactly six months ago today.
Tuitt is heading into his seventh season in 2020, and he will only be 27 years old, so he figures to have plenty of tread left on his tires. He has had some bad luck on the injury front in recent years, with two significant once over the past three, but neither of them are of a chronic nature, and there is no reason to believe they should contribute to an increased risk of injury.