Skip to main content
Presented by

Around the AFC North: Steelers Suffer Injuries to Two Leaders

From left: Pittsburgh Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
From left: Pittsburgh Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers: Minkah Fitzpatrick Won't Play Thursday Night, While Kenny Pickett's Availability Remains Uncertain

Head Coach Mike Tomlin said Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick won't play Thursday night against the Titans after he suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday's loss to the Jaguars.

Meanwhile, the timetable for starting quarterback Kenny Pickett (ribs) remains uncertain after he left Sunday's game late in the first half after taking a big hit. Tomlin said the door is "definitely ajar" for Pickett to play Thursday, but indicated it would be a gametime decision.

Mitch Trubisky threw two interceptions after taking over at quarterback in the second half Sunday, as Steelers dropped a 20-10 decision that dropped them to 4-3. Pickett also struggled before leaving the game, but the Steelers' offensive issues go beyond quarterback play. Jaylen Warren was Pittsburgh's leading rusher against Jacksonville with 19 yards and Najee Harris' longest run was three yards.

Starting left guard Isaac Seumalo gave a blunt assessment following the loss.

"Offensively, we just kind of suck right now," Seumalo said via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Fitzpatrick left the Jacksonville game in the first quarter, and the Steelers know it will be a challenge to play without the leader of their secondary on Thursday.

"It's a little different when you have the leader of our secondary, the main communicator back there with us," cornerback Patrick Peterson said via Stephen Thompson of

"Now, other guys have an opportunity to show what they have and – hate to say this – but another man's loss could be another man's treasure. So whoever's number is called, hopefully, they can hold up long enough until Minkah can get back."

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow Returns Mobile and Accurate Following Bye

Joe Burrow came back from the Bengals' bye week firing on all cylinders, looking nimble and accurate during an impressive 31-17 win over San Francisco that ended the 49ers' 11-game win streak at home.

The Bengals (4-3) have won three straight and look poised for another late-season surge. Burrow injured his calf the first week of training camp and was hampered early in the season. But against the 49ers, Burrow looked like the franchise quarterback who has led Cincinnati to two straight division titles. Playing his best game of the season, Burrow completed 28 of 32 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and he extended plays with his legs in ways that he couldn't earlier in the season.

"Explosiveness and acceleration were a big focus of mine in the offseason," Burrow said via Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I just hadn't been able to show that too much. It was nice to have that hard work pay off."

With Burrow back in top form, the Bengals feel they have the firepower to continue winning. At one point, he completed 19 straight passes against the 49ers.

"Like I said to him on the field, 'Welcome back, bro,'" wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase said. "It's a blessing seeing him play this football again."

The Bengals will host the Bills on Sunday Night Football in Week 9.

Cleveland Browns: Kevin Stefanski Faces Questions After Late-Game Pass Leads to Costly Interception

The Browns (4-3) dropped a tough 24-20 decision to Seattle after leading most of the game.

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski wishes the Browns could have at least one play back. Holding a 20-17 lead with 2:04 left in the game, Cleveland faced a third-and-three from their own 41-yard line. The Browns decided to pass, knowing the two-minute warning would stop the clock even if they decided to run, and Seattle still had two timeouts remaining.

However, what the Browns couldn't afford was a turnover. And that's exactly what happened, when P.J. Brown's pass on third down hit safety Jamal Adams in the helmet and deflected to safety Julian Love for an interception.

That was the break the Seahawks needed. They drove 57 yards in five plays for the winning touchdown with 38 seconds left, leaving Stefanski answering questions about why the Browns didn't run on third down. Even if they were stopped short on fourth down, they could have punted and made Seattle's potential game-winning drive much longer.

"Obviously with the interception, with the outcome you're always thinking what can you do differently," Stefanski said via Dan Labbe of "We had options there. Certainly you can run and certainly you can pass it, but the result, that was tough.

"(Running) definitely was a consideration. There's going to be plays you want back. You're also looking to try to give your guys the best chance to go make a play."

The Browns hope to bounce back when they host the Cardinals in Week 9.

Related Content