Heyward On Tuitt: ‘He’s Working His Way Back’

It’s still very unclear as to when Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt will begin practicing. The only thing we know right now is that the former second round draft pick out of Notre Dame should be ready to play come Week 1 of the regular season, which is now a little more than three weeks away. On Thursday, however, Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward was asked to comment on Tuitt’s current status. Heyward didn’t reveal much about what’s going on with Tuitt that’s preventing him from practicing but did say that the team is supporting him on the heels of him losing his brother in a hit-and-run accident earlier in the summer.

“He’s part of this team and that’s the best thing we can do for him,” Heyward said of Tuitt. “He’s working his way back. You know, he’s gone through some stuff this offseason and we’re just going to continue to be there for him. As the season approaches, John (Norwig) and Coach T [Mike Tomlin] will have more information, but he’s in every meeting, he’s learning and he’s just working his way back to us.”

With Heyward mentioning the name of John Norwig, the Steelers head athletic trainer, in his Thursday response, perhaps there’s a tiny chance that Tuitt is having to overcome a small ailment of some kind in addition to attempting to overcome the grief associated with him tragically losing his brother earlier in the summer. It’s hard to say for sure, however.

Regardless of what is going on with Tuitt right now, Heyward had a good perspective on Thursday when it comes to his teammate still being sidelined with a little more than three weeks to go before the start of the 2021 regular season after all he has been through these last few months.

“We understand football is just a game and for anyone to lose a loved one, you know, it hurts a lot,” Heyward said. “All we can do is be there and make sure we’re there for him in any capacity. And we understand this isn’t just going to go away. We’ve all lost someone, and we understand it’s not going to be the same for any person. But whatever he needs, we’ll be there for him.”

The Heyward Thursday press conference ended with the Steelers defensive captain being asked if he has any concern that Tuitt won’t be up to speed come the team’s first game of the regular season.

“Nope,” Heyward said.

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