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2021 South Side Questions: How Much Time Will Stephon Tuitt Miss?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.

They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom look to be in a starting role (or complementary role in Freiermuth’s case) for the season opener.

There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. They have a 53-man roster, though it will always change to some degree. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: How much time will Stephon Tuitt miss?

The Steelers place three players on the Reserve/Injured List at the start of the regular season. All three were eligible to begin practicing this week. Only one of them, tackle Zach Banner, is expected to be. We have no update on the most significant name, defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt.

There hasn’t been much clarity on Tuitt’s situation for some time. When training camp first started we were told, or rather it was strongly suggested, that he was being given time off to tend to his own needs and the needs of his family after suffering the tragic and sudden loss of his younger brother.

Some time after that, in the final weeks of training camp, we began to hear reports of a knee injury, and eventually even a cleanup procedure was referenced. Little of this actually came from the team directly, and head coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t been overly willing to engage in conversation on this topic, so we are left in the dark as to where he is situated.

Given that the Steelers have not yet exercised the opportunity for him to start practicing, it suggests that they don’t expect him to be available this week (duh), and perhaps for the next three weeks, referencing the three-week window for activating a player from IR once he starts practicing. But he could start practicing next week and play in the next game, too, so, really, we don’t know much other than he’s almost surely not going to practice this week. How long he’s out is anyone’s guess.

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