The Pittsburgh Steelers could certainly use defensive end Stephon Tuitt back on the field on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, but it’s not looking like that will happen. Tuitt, who is still currently on the Steelers Reserve/Injured list, did not resume practicing on Wednesday even though he is now eligible to do so. With Tuitt’s 21-day window not being opened on Wednesday, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler was asked on Thursday if Tuitt is close to returning to action.
“I hope so,” Butler said. “I hope he gets back to us. What’s that time frame? I don’t know. I don’t know. He’s got some stuff there that he’s got to overcome so I’m going to back him as much as I can. He’s a good football player and has been for us for a long. I’ll be glad when he gets back.”
Again, while Tuitt is now eligible to return to action from the Reserve/Injured list now that he’s missed the first three games of the season, there’s really been no sign of when indeed he will. He reportedly had some sort of minor knee procedure ahead of the regular season starting and that’s really all that’s thought to be known about him at this point.
The Steelers’ Week 5 game is against the Denver Broncos on the road and so Tuitt would need to start practicing next Wednesday to play in that contest. Quite honestly, one would think that he would need more than just a few days of practice to be ready to play so with that, it seems like it would be easy to speculate that Tuitt’s earliest return to the field might be Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks. Just as a reminded, the Steelers’ bye week in 2021 is in Week 7, the week after the Steelers play the Seahawks at home.
Once Tuitt does begin practicing again, the Steelers would then have 21 days to make a decision on him and one of those choices is obviously activating him to the 53-man roster from the Reserve/Injured list.
Unless we hear anything else about Tuitt in the next few days, next Wednesday would serve as the next key date for him. If he starts practicing next Wednesday, odds would then be good that he’ll return to the field in the next two games. If he doesn’t resume practicing next Wednesday, odds will then be good that we don’t see Tuitt back on the field until after the bye week.