Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt will not be playing Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, as he is still recovering from a sprained knee that he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals last week.
Tuitt and standout star Cameron Heyward have been a spectacular duo this year on the defensive line, so it will be interesting to see how Tuitt’s backup plays, whether it’s Cam Thomas or L.T. Walton getting the start, or rookie Bud Dupree moving from outside linebacker.
The Steelers are finally finding an identity on defense, and it's inconvenient that one of their best players is injured. Still, there is good news for the defense. Other than Tuitt and safety Will Allen, who is out with an ankle injury, the defensive unit is perfectly healthy. That includes Ryan Shazier, who has made a tremendous impact in the two games that he has played in. Shazier did benefit a lot from Tuitt’s dominance, though. Tuitt usually takes two blockers, which opens up lanes for Shazier to fly through. Hopefully whoever plays for Tuitt is capable of doing the same.
This game had the potential to be a great defensive game for the Steelers, facing a weak Chiefs offense without their best player, Jamaal Charles. Still, it is not a bad thing to sit Tuitt for this game, as the Steelers will probably win the game anyway. The team’s main focus should be having Tuitt healthy for their week eight showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals, a game that could decide the winner of the AFC North in the long run.
It truly is a bummer that the Steelers haven’t played a game at full strength this year. If they did, there is no doubt that they could legitimately be 6-0. This week, the team will be missing three key pieces at most (Ben Roethlisberger, Tuitt, and Will Allen). Still, the team has their priorities straight, and they are focused on the week eight matchup that is a much more important game than this week against the Chiefs.