Steelers News

Terrell Edmunds ‘Really Comfortable Wherever They Put Me’ Filling In For Minkah Fitzpatrick

While it is not impossible—as far as we know—that safety Minkah Fitzpatrick could play this weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers are operating under the assumption that he will not be available, as head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed yesterday.

The fourth-year veteran was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. It is believed that he is vaccinated, so he would have to have tested positive. He would need to be symptom-free for 48 hours and test negative twice, at least 24 hours apart, before he could return, which is not an easy timeline within a week.

It would be the first game that Fitzpatrick misses not just with the Steelers, but in his career. Fellow safety Terrell Edmunds conceded earlier today, via the team’s media department, that the Steelers were doing some “mixing and matching” in practice in order to try to “figure out exactly how we’re going to do it”. But he is ready for whatever role is handed to him.

“I’m really comfortable wherever they put me”, he said. “I just go out there to the best of my abilities and try to help the team out and win, so wherever they ask me to go, I’ll go out there and play it to my fullest ability”.

Edmunds, as the strong safety, does have strong positional mobility in terms of where he lines up. According to Pro Football Focus, through 577 snaps played on the season, he has lined up in the box on 261 snaps, in the slot for 145 snaps, at free safety for 134, at wide corner for 17, and along the line for 20.

The former first-round pick does have more athleticism than fans tend to give him credit for, though you might not want to play him full-time at free safety. Rookie seventh-round pick Tre Norwood may get a lot of time there, and cornerback Cameron Sutton should also drop back into that role.

The good news is that the Steelers did start out the season doing a lot of mixing and matching, with both Sutton and Norwood playing some free safety while Fitzpatrick slid down into the slot, which is probably the easiest part of the equation they can replicate, with either Sutton or Arthur Maulet playing there, as well as Norwood.

Obviously, it’s never good news when one of your best players is unavailable, but at least in terms of roles, I expect the Steelers will be able to figure it out from an assignment standpoint. Then it just comes down to execution. Tomlin, however, is confident they’ll have a plan.

Given an opportunity to prepare, regardless of whether or not we have Minkah or Joe Haden or others, you give us six days to prepare, I like our chances”, he told reporters during his pre-game press conference yesterday. That’s the attitude you need to bring into a situation like this.

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