On the day they activated pass-rusher T.J. Watt from injured reserve, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost Pro Bowl safety Minkah Fitzpatrick for multiple weeks when he was forced to undergo an appendectomy after their walk-through practice Saturday, league sources told ESPN.
Fitzpatrick did not feel well at practice, and tests revealed that he needed to undergo the appendectomy as quickly as possible, a source said. The Steelers had announced Saturday that Fitzpatrick would miss the Sunday game against the New Orleans Saints with appendicitis.
The Steelers are hoping that Fitzpatrick can make it back as quickly as possible, but an appendectomy typically results in a multiweek absence.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow underwent an appendectomy just before training camp began this summer and was sidelined 2½ weeks before he returned to practice.
Along with missing the Saints game, Fitzpatrick is not expected to be ready to play next week at home against the Bengals, sources said. Perhaps Fitzpatrick could return the following Monday night, Nov. 28, when the Steelers play in Indianapolis, but that seems ambitious and will depend on the safety’s recovery.
Earlier this week, the Steelers activated safety Damontae Kazee from injured reserve. They also activated safety Elijah Riley from the practice squad for the game Sunday.
Information from ESPN’s Brooke Pryor was used in this report.