There’s still no official word whether or not Stephon Tuitt will play for the Pittsburgh Steelers again. But last week, Kevin Colbert’s outlook on Tuitt’s football future sounded optimistic. Colbert again spoke about Tuitt’s situation Tuesday on Steelers’ Nation Radio and confirmed Tuitt has told the team he has a desire to play football again.
Here is what Colbert said.
“Absolutely,” Colbert told SNR when asked if Tuitt expressed a desire to play again. “I mean, he wanted to play last year. He had a knee injury that he had to work his way through and obviously had the family situation that hurt that along those lines. But we respected what he had to deal with. And we tried to support him as best as possible.”
Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season after enduring a difficult year. His brother was killed in a hit-and-run in June. Tuitt reported to the team at the beginning of camp but never fully participated in practice. He spent his time working on the side or not practicing at all. A knee injury placed him on injured reserve for the start of the season and the team never activated him off it, leading many to speculate if Tuitt had decided to hang up his cleats.
“We’re very excited to see what the next step is for Stephon. We’re respectful of where he is and we’ll continue to monitor that and see where it leads. Stephon went through a tough year and we respect that and understood that. And where it happens from the next step, we don’t know. And we’ll always have that door open for him.”
Though Colbert gave no final answers, it sounds like Tuitt has a realistic chance to return to the team. If he wants to play football, there’s no reason why the team would turn him away. Tuitt enjoyed a career-year in 2020 with 11 sacks and formed a dynamic duo alongside Cameron Heyward.
Should Tuitt return, the Steelers will again have one of the league’s better defensive lines. And assuming they can re-sign Montravius Adams, they’ll have their six defensive linemen locked in: Tuitt, Heyward, Adams, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, and Isaiahh Loudermilk.
Without Tuitt and Alualu in 2021, the Steelers’ defensive line struggled mightily with Pittsburgh finishing the season with a historically bad run defense. But if and when those two names return along with the development of guys like Wormley and Adams, Pittsburgh’s defense should be in a much better place in 2022.