With a 5-4-1 record entering Week 12, it isn't hard to see that the 2021 NFL season hasn't gone the way the Pittsburgh Steelers have planned. Fortunately, the return of a key defender is about to give them the boost that they need.
The Steelers announced Thursday that they are activating free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick from COVID-19 protocol. Last week's loss against the Los Angeles Chargers was the first game he's missed in his four-year career.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Injury Update
While the All-Pro safety's return should give the Steelers a boost (in theory), he hasn't been his usual dominant self this season. He may have 64 total tackles in nine games, however, he's yet to record an interception and only has one pass defended.
Adding on to that, opposing quarterbacks have done well when targeting Fitzpatrick. His completion percentage (73.3%) and passer rating (122.8) when targeted are both career-worsts, as is his 14.7% missed tackle rating.
Still, Fitzpatrick's two Pro Bowl and All-Pro appearances show that he's capable of a much better performance. Perhaps some time on the sidelines will help him return to form.
He'll be put to the test when the Steelers square off with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Pittsburgh is listed as the 4.5-point underdog ahead of the AFC North matchup, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.