Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Cam Heyward was present at the time of a violent altercation between his teammate, defensive end Stephon Tuitt, and an alleged drunk driver.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been by the side of Stephon Tuitt since he was drafted in 2014. They’ve seen him through his ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up on him.
Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson Cameron Heyward (left) and Stephon Tuitt (right) of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive line.
T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t the only defensive starter who hasn’t worked with his teammates this summer. Stephon Tuitt, a defensive end, hasn’t participated in a team exercise since training camp began last month, and the Steelers haven’t said why.
While Watt seems to be restricting himself in order to reduce the risk of injury while attempting to negotiate a long-term contract deal, Tuitt’s absence remains a mystery. It’s possible that the problem is emotional, that he’s hurt, or that he has a conditioning issue. Maybe it’s a mix of those problems.
‘He’s working his way back,’ says Cameron Heyward.
On Thursday, when questioned about his linemate, Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward said:
“He’s retracing his steps. Tuitt lost his brother, Richard Bartlett III, in a terrible hit-and-run accident in June, and he said, “You know, he’s gone through some things this offseason and we’re just going to continue to be there for him.”
“[Head athletic trainer] John [Norwig] and Coach T. will have more information as the season approaches, but he’s in every meeting, he’s learning, and he’s just making his way back to us,” Heyward said.
Head coach Mike Tomlin, on the other hand, gave no fresh information yesterday. When asked whether he had a timeline for Tuitt’s return at his news conference, he said:
“No, I don’t.” I haven’t asked many questions. I’m sure he’s had some excellent days. I’m aware that there has been improvement. I’m sure he’ll be eager to go back out there with his teammates, but I’ve been concentrating on the men who are competing.”
“I don’t have to give any color to injury status or anything of that sort this time of year, so I won’t,” Tomlin said when pushed further.
However, with the season opener less than three weeks away, there is increasing worry that Tuitt may be unable to face the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 12.
Keith Butler, the defensive coordinator, was asked on Wednesday whether Tuitt will be ready for the Bills game.
“I certainly hope so. According to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he replied, “I truly hope so.” “I believe he will. We don’t want him to get injured and be out for another four weeks or anything like that. We want to make sure he’s in good condition and ready to go for our first game.”
Last season, Stephon Tuitt finished second on the team in sacks.
Tuitt’s absence—or even a limited role—would be a significant blow for the defense. This year, he has the team’s fourth-highest salary cap figure ($8,600,750), and he’s a key part of Pittsburgh’s pass rush.
Tuitt had 45 tackles (33 solo) and 10 tackles for loss last season, according to Pro Football Reference. He finished second on the squad in sacks with 11, and he also had 25 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, and two caused fumbles.
But if anybody on the squad can relate to Tuitt’s situation, it’s Heyward, whose father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, died of brain cancer in 2006 at the age of 39.
“We realize that football is only a game, and losing a loved one hurts a lot,” Heyward added. “All we can do is show up and ensure that we are there for them in whatever way we can. And we realize that this isn’t going to go away on its own. We’ve all lost someone, and we realize that each person’s experience will be different. But we’ll be there for him, whatever he needs.”
Cameron Heyward | Pittsburgh Steelers | Steelers Press Conference (Aug. 19) Cameron Heyward discusses the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive depth, young defensive linemen, and playing in front of a crowd. Joe Schobert is a writer who lives in New York City #Steelers #NFL #HereWeGo Do you like our content? Do you want to learn more? Subscribe to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ YouTube channel here: goo.gl/nAd4J2 Do you want to see even more Steelers content? Visit our official website on the… 2021-08-19T20:00:44Z
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