A few weeks back, Cameron Heyward gave an extended interview over the phone with The Athletic. He addressed a number of topics during that conversation, so some things got lost along the way. One subject that he covered was his teammate, Stephon Tuitt, whose 2019 season ended prematurely due to a torn pectoral muscle in Week Six.
Up to that point in the season, the seventh-year veteran was off to the best start of his career and looking like he was ready to join the spotlight that Heyward himself has commanded in recent years. They are now roughly at the same point in their respective careers at which their productivity really took off, for what it’s worth.
Mark Kaboly asked Heyward how Tuitt was doing, noting that he is not much of a social media user, and hasn’t been updating his status. Given the virtual offseason, it has been more difficult than ever before to keep informed about what is going on with the team.
“I think Tuitt is going to be ready”, he said. “He had to get his pec right and get through the rehab, but he was progressing nicely this offseason before the COVID shut it down. We all went to Dallas and trained together, and he has come a long way. Tuitt wants to get back to the group, and the group needs him”.
The most interesting thing to note here, to me, is Heyward saying that he has been down in Dallas to work out with Tuitt, which is the only time that I have heard of this. More recently, Heyward has been working out with Brandon Jordan along with a number of other defensive linemen and edge defenders, but Tuitt was not among them.
Getting back a healthy Tuitt will be a huge gain, and the perfect way to soften the blow of the loss of Javon Hargrave in free agency, who signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles worth $39, which includes $26 fully guaranteed.
Unfortunately, health has been an inhibiting factor for him. Only in his rookie year, during which he only entered the starting lineup in the final quarter of the season, did he play all 16 games. He has missed at least two in every year since, including four in 2017 and 10 last season.
But he put up 22 tackles with six for a loss and three and a half sacks by the time he was injured early in the sixth game of the season last year. He was on pace to have a career year had he not suffered that pectoral injury chasing down Philip Rivers. If he can stay on the field in 2020, this could be his Pro Bowl year.