Steelers Injury Update: 2 Ruled Out vs. Bengals

Joe Haden Steelers

Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden #23.

On Friday the Pittsburgh Steelers issued their third and final injury report of the week, revealing mostly positive developments in terms of practice participation and the outlook for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. Only two players—both on the offensive side of the ball—have already been ruled out against the Bengals, those being tight end Eric Ebron and guard/center J.C. Hassenauer, the former of whom is facing potential knee surgery and the latter dealing with a pectoral injury.

CB1 Joe Haden is ‘Questionable’

The big question mark at the moment is cornerback Joe Haden, who is listed as questionable with the mid-foot sprain that caused him to miss the Chargers game. One can’t be too optimistic about Haden’s prospects for Sunday, as he was a limited participant in practice both Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday’s session entirely.

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Meanwhile, outside linebacker T.J. Watt looks on track to play on Sunday after suffering knee and hip injuries versus the Lions on November 14. Watt was a full participant in practice on Friday after being limited the two prior days.

And while there are four other players on the injury report, all were full participants in practice on Friday and expected to play vs. the Bengals, those being: quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/right shoulder); starting right guard Trai Turner (knee); rookie defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (groin); and cornerback Arthur Maulet (non-COVID illness).

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick Activated

In other good news, free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, having been sidelined since November 15 and having missed the loss to the Chargers, a game in which the Steelers allowed 41 points.

“I feel fine,” Fitzpatrick told Teresa Varley of “The only thing I really had was a headache and that was it. I had little to almost no symptoms.”

Nor is the two-time first-team All-Pro concerned about his conditioning.

“When you have 10 days that you’re not able to work out you think you would be in not great shape,” added Fitzpatrick. “But I came back yesterday, my first practice, and I felt fine. I wasn’t struggling with running or breathing or anything like that. I feel good.”

Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler feels pretty good about Fitzpatrick returning to the lineup as well.

“I’m happy about it. I’ll tell you that right now. I’m real happy about it,” said Butler about Fitzpatrick’s return. “The possibility of getting the other guys back too, that always helps. The last time we played them, we were down a couple of people too. Having those guys come back and be able to play and stuff like that means a lot to us….”

Bengals Injury Update

As for Sunday’s opposition, the Bengals come into the game pretty healthy, the seven players on injured reserve notwithstanding.

Of the nine players on Cincy’s injury/participation report this week, eight were full participants in practice on both Thursday and Friday. But wide receiver Auden Tate is doubtful with a thigh injury, having missed all three of this week’s practices.

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