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2022 Offseason Questions: When Will We Hear Anything About Stephon Tuitt?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.

These are the sorts of topics 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: When will we hear anything about Stephon Tuitt?

On the field, put simply, Stephon Tuitt is easily one of the best players that the Steelers have on their roster. The problem, at least as it concerns the 2021 season, is the fact that he was never on the field. He only spent one day on the 53-man roster, and that was only so that he could be placed on the Reserve/Injured List while retaining his eligibility to be Designated For Return (which, of course, he never was).

Head coach Mike Tomlin was very non-specific whenever he was asked about Tuitt during press conferences, and very little has come out (and even less corroborated or verifiable) about him and his status and health.

As a result, it has left fans in the lurch and has caused many of them to speculate about what might be going on. It has had the unfortunate side effect of having many people questioning him, both as a professional and even as a person.

Tuitt suffered a very personal and devastating loss in the middle of the offseason last year, his younger brother killed by a hit-and-run driver. That was the initial reason that he did not participate in OTAs, and why he was excused from minicamp. It was why he was only working off to the side during training camp.

He is said to have suffered a knee injury, at some point, and that that knee injury required a procedure. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler acknowledged the knee injury late in training camp, so we do know that something happened.

But that’s about all we know. Was he ever close to returning to play last season? Does he want to play in 2022? How is he doing, both physically and emotionally? I can tell you from experience that there’s no guarantee you’re going to be your right self within a year of losing a sibling at a young age, and it could shift your priorities in a hurry.

Speaking personally, unless or until I hear otherwise, I will work under the assumption that Tuitt is going to be a full-fledged part of this team in 2022. Provided that he stays healthy, he should be a big and much-needed boost to a defensive unit that really missed him last year, in more ways than one.

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