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Steelers' Minkah Fitzpatrick in Concussion Protocol Ahead of Week 4 vs. Jets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 27, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 09: Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) walks off the field during the Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens National Football League game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Minkah Fitzpatrick (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is in the concussion protocol after being assessed for a head injury after Thursday's loss to the Cleveland Browns, head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday.

Fitzpatrick played all 72 defensive snaps plus four special-teams plays in the Steelers' 29-17 loss last week as the team fell to 1-2.

He's the only Steelers player to appear in 100 percent of defensive snaps this year, per Pro Football Reference.

The impressive durability comes after Fitzpatrick opened this year's training camp on the active/non-football injury list after suffering a wrist injury in a bike accident while on vacation.

The 25-year-old University of Alabama product was one of the NFL's most durable players across his first four seasons, playing 64 of a possible 65 regular-season games. His only absence came last year while on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

He's emerged as one of the league's best safeties since the Miami Dolphins selected him in the first round of the 2018 draft. He was traded to Pittsburgh during the 2019 season. His accolades include two Pro Bowl appearances and a pair of First Team All-Pro selections.

The versatile defensive back has added 24 tackles and two interceptions so far this season, returning one pick for a touchdown.

Tre Norwood and Miles Killebrew could each get a chance to fill the hole in the Steelers' secondary any time Fitzpatrick is sidelined for the team's Week 4 game against the New York Jets.

Pittsburgh's defense must be the bedrock if the team is going to make some noise this season amid an evolving offense following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. Losing Fitzpatrick for any extended period of time would be a massive setback.

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