2017 South Side Questions: Can Tuitt Return For Sunday?

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Could Stephon Tuitt really return to the field as soon as Sunday against the Vikings?

Saturday was a huge day for Stephon Tuitt, officially signing a new five-year extension that frankly made him rather wealthy. And through two plays into Sunday’s game, it looked like he was in a rush to justify his pay.

But in his rush to try to tackle Isaiah Crowell for a loss of several yards on that second play, he ended up injuring his bicep, which led to reported fears later in the day that he may have torn it, in which case his season would have come to a rather abrupt end, lasting about a minute or so.

But all of the news since then has been positive, with his teammate, Cameron Heyward, passing along the good word the following day that the MRI he had taken earlier in the day showed that it would not be a season-ending issue. Yesterday, Head Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t even rule Tuitt out to potentially play in the Steelers’ next game.

From the sounds of it, the fourth-year defensive lineman is going to make every effort to get right back out on the field, and whether or not he plays largely depends on how quickly the strength returns to his arm such that he would be able to defend himself and grapple with offensive linemen while he is in the game.

Getting him back so quickly would certainly be a big boost for the defense, and the Vikings will be a greater test than the Browns, so all help will be welcome. But credit must be given to the effort that Tyson Alualu and the rest of the reserve defensive linemen made in minimizing his absence on the field on Sunday. They can play without him. They’re just that much better with him.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Nolrog

    I would err on the side of caution here and keep him out a game. The risk is a much worse injury, and I’d rather sit him maybe ready for 1 game than lose him for the year.

  • Kevin artis

    I would dress him but use in case of an emergency to someone else. But I would hide his helmet. Lol.

  • Steve Johnson

    Take two to three weeks, no need to rush him back too soon.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Yeah I bet he misses 2 at least. Even if it’s just precautionary. He can hit the weights and see how it responds.

  • MoreRingsThanYourTeam

    What I would give to have this team operating at full capacity for one game. No injures. No 14 penalties for 150 yards. No rust. One game where everyone is clicking on all cylinders. Hopefully, we can save that game for the super bowl!

  • pittsburghjoe

    Do not rush him back… We need him in healthy for the stretch. We can win with Alualu in the mean time.

  • The way he talked about it last night on the radio show, it seemed more like a pinched nerve. If the strength in his arm returns by the end of the week, I see no reason to sit him. But if he needs more time, then it won’t be a problem to give it to him.

  • hdogg48

    If the OTHER big money boy (Bell) shows up
    Sunday we won’t need him.

  • Conserv_58

    After listening to his interview on the weekly huddle last night, Stephon said what we would expect him to say. He said that they’re going to take it day by day and re-evaluate the injury later in the week. IMO, he’s not going to play and he shouldn’t because thanks to having Alualu he doesn’t need to risk further injury to his arm.

  • Ryan Alderman

    If he’s ready to play and feels good, he plays, simple as that. I’d be surprised if that is this week, too.

  • RickM

    I can’t see him being back on Sunday. He’s just too valuable an asset to risk turning his good luck into bad. And the criticism of the medical staff would be deafening if he returned this week and re-injured it. My guess is the window is anywhere from 2-4 weeks, as they wait for the strength in the arm to return.

  • Steelerfan4lifeinAZ

    I believe taking one more week off as a precautionary would be recommended. I’m sure he had alot of inflammation on the tenden around the bone so i would just do some good rehabbing an rest up buddy.. This is why we have depth so you don’t have to rush back. Get well Tuitt !!

  • LucasY59

    I wouldnt even have him play in 2 weeks, it is much more important for him to fully heal so that he doesnt re-agravate or further injure his arm, the DL has enough depth they can make it a couple more games without him

  • LucasY59

    nbd but I think the title should be switched back to south side questions now that camp is over?