Steelers news: Pat Freiermuth avoids major injury, Matt Canada is still here, and more

Pat Freiermuth #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Pat Freiermuth #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh narrowly missed the playoffs with the results of Week 18. Some Steelers news is encouraging today, while indecisiveness has the fanbase up in arms. 

Missing the playoffs is always a tough pill to swallow. It’s even more difficult when you consider the circumstances in which the Pittsburgh Steelers were eliminated this year. Needing a win and losses from the Patriots and Dolphins, Mike Tomlin had two of the three games go his way. Sadly, Joe Flacco and the Jets were a major letdown against Miami, and Pittsburgh was eliminated from a playoff berth before the time ticked off the clock at Acrisure Stadium.

Failing to enter the playoffs always makes for a long offseason, but there is plenty for fans to look forward to. Luckily, we’ve already heard some encouraging news from Mike Tomlin, but some indecisiveness from Pittsburgh’s front office also has fans upset. Here’s the latest Steelers news you need to know immediately following their 2022 season.

Steelers news

Let’s start with the good news. During his end-of-the-year press conference on Monday, Mike Tomlin gave us some encouraging news on Pat Freiermuth. The second-year tight end went down in pain during the Browns game in the season finale and needed to be helped off the field. It was quickly determined that he had suffered a knee injury and that he would not return.

Fortunately, our worst fears have been averted. Tomlin confirmed that it was an MCL/ACL sprain for Freiermuth — not a tear, as many initially feared. While no injury is ever good, this was the best news Steelers fans could have hoped for. An ACL tear would have required a long road to recovery and Freiermuth probably wouldn’t have been ready for the start of the season. Instead, he will spend the next few months recovering but will be plenty ready to go well before mandatory minicamp.

More Steelers news

The other big news from yesterday is really more of a failure to make a decision on the part of Mike Tomlin and the front office. Black Monday is a dreaded time for many coaches around the league. We saw the Arizona Cardinals fire head coach Kliff Kingsbury yesterday. However, fans woke up this morning disappointed to see that Matt Canada still has a job as the Steelers offensive coordinator.

Because of how they typically do business, it’s not a surprise to see him still with the organization, and Mike Tomlin noted that he wasn’t going to speculate about his future with the team. This doesn’t guarantee that Canada sticks around, but after finishing the season with a 7-2 record since the bye week, it’s possible that the team allows him to play out his contract in 2023 and go from there.

NFL news

For some organizations, it doesn’t take long to figure out the direction they want to go following the season. It was an active Black Monday around the NFL as multiple coaches were fired. Kliff Kingsbury and Lovie Smith were among the biggest names to get the axe. Additionally, Jeff Saturday will be looking for work in 2023 after filling in as the Colts interim head coach, while Browns defensive coordinator, was sent packing. Head coaches, Nathaniel Hackett, Frank Reich, and Matt Rhule were fired before the end of the 2022 season.

In the midst of all of this, the Browns and other teams have expressed interest in interviewing Steelers defensive assistant coach, Brian Flores. It was only a matter of time before teams came knocking, and Flores could be earning a defensive coordinator job soon with another club.

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