Minkah Fitzpatrick Returns To Practice Thursday, Could Play Sunday Against Bengals

Less than one week after having an emergency appendectomy to remove his appendix, star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick returned to practice Thursday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side and is in lien to play Sunday in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium.

According to video via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko, Fitzpatrick returned to practice Thursday and was seen working through individual and team drills.

Fitzpatrick previously had surgery on Saturday, keeping him out of the Week 10 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Though he wanted to try and put off the surgery and play through the pain, doctors denied his request and put him under the knife Saturday.

The appendectomy was expected to keep him out multiple weeks, but with the defense nearly back to full strength following the returns of T.J. Watt and Damontae Kazee in Week 10, Fitzpatrick is raring to return quickly, leading to him getting back onto the practice field Thursday.

On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that he had “no clue” about Fitzpatrick’s timeline and would lean on the expertise of medical experts in regards to his availability. Steelers Depot’s own Dr. Melanie Friedlander believed Fitzpatrick wouldn’t need to miss much time after the appendectomy, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter previously reported that the star safety would be out “multiple weeks.”

Turns out, Fitzpatrick might to miss much time at all.

Should he be cleared to play Sunday, the Steelers defense would be at full strength for the first time since the final preseason game against the Detroit Lions, giving the Steelers a significant boost in the second half as the black and gold aim to climb out of a 2-6 hole prior to the Week 9 bye week.

We’ll see what Fitzpatrick’s practice status is listed as on Thursday, but with him returning to the practice field Thursday, things are trending in the right direction for his return to the lineup in Week 11 against Joe Burrow and the Bengals, which would be a significant boost for the Steelers defensively.

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