The Pittsburgh Steelers will wrap up their 2021 training camp practices at Heinz Field on Thursday and that session is expected to include defensive end Stephon Tuitt and outside linebacker T.J. Watt continuing to work some, if any, on the side. That means neither really practiced at all during training camp. On Thursday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Tuitt and if he has any sort of timetable set for when he expects the team’s starting defensive end to start practicing.
“I don’t,” Tomlin said. “I hadn’t asked a lot. I know that he’s had good days. I know progress has been made. I know he’ll be excited to get back out there with his teammates, but really I’ve been focused on the guys that are participating.”
Tomlin was then asked if Tuitt being sidelined throughout training camp is merely related to his conditioning or if there is some sort of injury that he’s been dealing with, and the head coach wouldn’t bite on the question.
“You know, I don’t have to provide any color to injury status or anything of that nature this time of year, so I won’t,” Tomlin said.
Tuitt has had a troubling off season as his brother was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Johns Creek, Georgia back in early June. The defensive lineman missed all of the offseason program and seemingly due to that unfortunate tragedy his family endured.
This past week it was announced that Tuitt had his contract restructured to free up salary cap space so that’s a sign that the team expects him to play at some point in 2021. Hopefully that some point will be Week 1 of the regular season.
As for Watt, who is still waiting to sign a long-term contract extension, Tomlin was asked Thursday if he has any update on his status moving past the team’s upcoming Saturday night home preseason game.
“None as I sit here today, no,” Tomlin said.
Tuitt and Watt obviously will not play Saturday night against the Detroit Lions so we’ll have to wait and see if either or both will resume practicing next week.