The Pittsburgh Steelers are now on their bye week and following a Tuesday practice, the team won’t likely have another session until Monday or Tuesday of next week. Come Wednesday, it will be interesting to see if the steelers allow defensive end Stephon Tuitt to resume practicing as a designated-to-return player. On Tuesday, steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to provide an update on Tuitt.
“He’s still on IR and working hard and making progress,” Tomlin said. “How close he is to returning to play? I do not have the answer to that as I stand here right now.”
While Tuitt might indeed ultimately be allowed to resume practicing next week, it seems almost certain that he will not be ready to play in the Steelers Week 8 road game against the Cleveland Browns. In short, it seems like the earliest we might see Tuitt back is in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears and even that might be a stretch at this point.
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler was even asked to comment again on Tuitt’s future status on Tuesday and as expected, he really didn’t shed much light on the topic or a potential return date
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Butler said of Tuitt’s current status. “You’re asking the wrong guy. Hey, I wished he was here yesterday, but I’m more in favor of him having health, too. So, we’ll see.”
Tuitt, who is still seemingly recovering from a knee procedure of some sort that he had performed ahead of the start of the regular season, didn’t practice or play any throughout training camp and the preseason. He was placed on the Steelers Reserve/Injured list in Week 1 and outside of being photographed working some on the practice field a week or so ago, his status and potential return to the field has been kept real quiet.