Stephon Tuitt not in attendance during Pittsburgh Steelers OTAs

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers began their organized team activities on Tuesday. but Stephon Tuitt was not in attendance. Here’s what it could mean.

All eyes were waiting to see if Stephon Tuitt would be in attendance for the Pittsburgh Steelers organized team activities (OTAs) this Tuesday. After sitting out the entire 2021 season, I’ve been vocal about Tuitt’s need to rejoin his team and start getting some reps in if he is to be part of the long-term plan.

Sadly, Tuitt was nowhere to be found as Steelers OTAs kicked off this week. Andrew Filipponi of 93.7 The Fan reports that he spoke to Steelers insiders who confirmed that Tuitt is indeed not in attendance for team activities:

While organized team activities are not mandatory as part of the CBA, this really is a disheartening sign. Tuitt hasn’t played a snap for the Steelers since the end of the 2020 season.

During his most recent NFL action, Tuitt put on a show — earning 11.0 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, and 25 quarterback hits in 15 games, via Pro Football Reference. The big defensive lineman was in the prime of his career and appeared to be on the verge of stardom in the back half of his NFL career.

Unfortunately, 2021 wasn’t easy on Tuitt. He lost his younger brother in a hit-and-run incident last summer. Though some thought his absence was due to a lingering knee issue, it would appear that he’s not in a place where he is ready to return to the football field.

It’s unclear how much the Steelers coaches and front office knew during this time, but perhaps they had a good idea this would be the case. Pittsburgh spend their third-round draft choice on promising defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal this year.

Even going back to last year, the Steelers moved back into the draft to select Isaiahh Loudermilk — a player who, from the start, was projected to play the same role on the defensive line as Tuitt.

It saddens me to think that one of Pittsburgh’s top players may in fact be done with the team in the prime of his NFL career. I truly believed Tuitt was a top-five player on the roster in terms of value before his departure.

Trending. 3 biggest remaining weaknesses on Steelers roster. light

Nothing is set in stone here, and perhaps Tuitt will still change his mind and rejoin his team. However, it’s looking very discouraging at the moment. Stephon Tuitt really needed to be at OTAs working with his teammates again if we were to see him at Heinz Field in 2022. If this truly is a sign that these two parties are moving on, the Steelers would be wise to bring in additional outside help.