The Pittsburgh Steelers have some big injuries that could play a factor this week. Here’s why they could be devastating in a tough matchup vs the Bills.
After a 1-3 start to the 2022 season, things aren’t getting any easier for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, they may prove to have the toughest four-game stretch in the NFL leading up to their Week 9 bye. This week, Mike Tomlin’s team will be taking on Josh Allen and the Bills on the road.
For the first time since the NFL merger, the Steelers sit at 14-point underdogs. Considering the injuries they face this week, this matchup potentially got just a bit tougher.
The Steelers will already be without T.J. Watt as he nurses back to health from a pectoral injury he suffered in Week 1. This likely means that the pass rush will continue to struggle as it has each of the past three weeks. However, the secondary is suddenly riddled with injuries.
This obviously isn’t a good sign for a team getting ready to face one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in football. Without Watt available to help get fast, consistent pressure on Josh Allen, the Steelers are going to need all hands on deck in the secondary to help cover players like Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this Sunday.
Steelers could be without key players in their secondary vs Bills
Sadly, that isn’t likely to be the case. Head coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that Ahkello Witherspoon is still working his way back from a hamstring injury, and he is not expected to play against Buffalo this week. Though Witherspoon wasn’t playing great prior to his injury, he is still Pittsburgh’s top boundary cornerback and the only one with great length and plus athletic traits.
Witherspoon might not be the only starter in the secondary sitting this one out. Both starting safeties for the Steelers did not practice in Wednesday’s practice. Minkah Fitzpatrick left late in the Jets game with a knee injury, as did Edmunds with a concussion.
It’s unclear at this time whether Edmunds is going to clear concussion protocol or even if Fitzpatrick will be able to suit up this week. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network stated on Twitter that Minkah ‘does have a chance to play.’ These are not exactly the most encouraging words.
Obviously, we need to keep our eyes on the injury report through Friday leading up to the Steelers traveling to Buffalo. However, if the Steelers are missing some key defenders, this could be a recipe for disaster this week against the Bills — especially without T.J. Watt to aid against a high-powered offense.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.