As the playoff push officially starts, the Pittsburgh Steelers face a significant hurdle as they gear up for Week 11 of the NFL. Five key players, including standouts Diontae Johnson and Minkah Fitzpatrick, were listed on the injury report early this week, providing the black and gold with some potential obstacles as they travel to face the 6-3 Cleveland Browns.
From wide receiver to safety, the team’s depth and resilience will be tested in a game that may well define their season. As fans, while we hope for the best, let’s arm ourselves with information and rally behind our team.
Injury Updates: Steelers’ Key Players
Tight End Pat Freiermuth
Freiermuth was a full participant in Thursday’s practice, indicating he’s progressing in returning from a hamstring injury. He will likely be activated from injured reserve and in uniform Sunday.
Wide Receiver Diontae Johnson
Johnson was listed as ‘did not participate’ on Wednesday; however, it was likely a precautionary move. Thursday he was a full participant in practice and was taken off the injury report. As he continues to recover from a thumb and hamstring injury, the fact he was taking reps in practice is a good sign for Sunday.
Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick remains off the field, still recovering from a hamstring injury. Having missed the last two games and not practicing this week, it’s looking more likely that he will miss the upcoming game against the Browns.
Linebacker Keanu Neal
Neal’s return to the field is uncertain after he left Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers. His availability will be determined by his participation in the last two days of practice.
Defensive End Cam Heyward
Heyward did not practice on Wednesday, taking a veteran’s day off while also dealing with a groin injury. However, he was back in action on Thursday.
Offensive Lineman Issac Seumalo and Cornerback Patrick Peterson
Seumalo and Peterson were absent from practice, taking time to rest.
As we look forward to game day, the situation is fluid, and player availability will be determined closer to kick-off. Here’s what we currently know:
Pat Freiermuth looks promising, as he got in a full practice Thursday. Diontae Johnson was also taken off the injury report and is expected to be on the field. The situation is similar for Issac Seumalo, Cam Heyward, and Patrick Peterson, who have been resting and nursing minor injuries but are expected to play.
Despite being called a game-time decision, Minkah Fitzpatrick will likely miss his third game against the Browns due to his ongoing hamstring injury. Friday’s practice will give a bigger indication as to if he’ll play on Sunday.
Keanu Neal’s availability is up in the air, with Mike Tomlin indicating he’ll be a game-time decision. His return depends heavily on his practice participation on Friday.
As we gear up for the much-anticipated Week 11 divisional battle, the Pittsburgh Steelers odds seem to be in flux. Many key players have been sitting out of practice this week, which undoubtedly poses a challenge for the team. However, they have consistently shown their ability to bounce back and adapt, reminding us that the Steelers are more than capable of surprising us.
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