2021 South Side Questions: Will Stephon Tuitt Be Back After Bye?

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 are starting.

There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. 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: Will Stephon Tuitt be back after the bye week?

The Steelers have played the first six games of the 2021 season without one of their best—and highest-paid—players in Stephon Tuitt, who has been on the Reserve/Injured List since the start of the year, dealing with an apparent knee injury about which details have been quite vague.

It is unclear when Tuitt, who has been dealing with the tragic death of his younger brother earlier this year, suffered the knee injury. It has been suggested that he has had a clean-up procedure, and a couple of weeks ago, an image of him at practice surfaced showing him wearing a brace.

He has not, however, officially returned to practice, meaning that his 21-day window to be activated to the 53-man roster has not yet begun. With the Steelers heading into their bye week, though, many are wondering if this is the time they still use to start getting him back on the field.

Tuitt had a career year in 2020, and we were expecting to see more of the same from him this season. One does have to wonder what sort of football condition he will be in whenever he does come back, given that he has done virtually no team work all year.

The defense can certainly used him back, however, even at 75 percent. Their depth has been tested, it is fair to say, with Tyson Alualu lost for the season and Carlos Davis having missed most of the year up to this point as well. Isaiah Buggs left the last game with an injury; hopefully he is back after the bye, too.

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