Echoing comments recently made by GM Kevin Colbert, Steelers’ President Art Rooney II said Thursday he doesn’t know if Stephon Tuitt will play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022. But he is leaving the door open for Tuitt to come back.
Rooney sat down for an interview with WPXI’s Jenna Harner and was asked about Tuitt’s status going forward. Harner tweeted out Rooney’s response.
Here is Rooney’s full answer:
“We don’t know at this point where Stephon is going to be and what his ability to compete for a position here next season is going to be,” he told WPXI. “We’ve left the door open. We have to have more conversations with him to understand where he is. So that’s a situation that will need a little more time to play out and we’ll see where we go.”
It’s a less optimistic-sounding tone than what Colbert told the media on Monday though the overall message remains the same. Tuitt’s status is still unknown and there is no definitive answer to whether or not he’ll return next season.
Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season. His brother was killed in a hit-and-run before the year began and Tuitt needed knee surgery that placed him on IR prior to the start of the year. Despite being shown on the practice field to some small degree mid-season, he was never activated off injured reserve.
Not turning 29 until May, Tuitt’s 2020 season was by far his best. He stayed healthy and finished the year with a career-high 11 sacks, forming a dynamic duo with Cam Heyward.
Right now, we don’t know when Tuitt will make his decision and that couple impact the Steelers’ offseason plans.
If Tuitt does not return, a combination of Chris Wormley, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Montravius Adams (if re-signed) will again look to replace him. Wormley finished 2021 with a career-best seven sacks. The team may also look towards free agency and the draft to replace Tuitt’s spot.