Minkah Fitzpatrick has been cleared from the concussion protocol, and is without any injury designation ahead of Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Fitzpatrick entered the concussion protocol after undergoing evaluation following the 29-17 loss to the Browns. The Steelers’ star safety was a full participant during all three days of practice this week at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Generally, a complete week of full participation would automatically green light a player to suit up for the upcoming game. However, Fitzpatrick needed to be officially cleared from the concussion protocol by the Steelers before he can step on the field at Acrisure Stadium.
For further context, any activity regarding the NFL’s concussion protocol will likely be watched with intense scrutiny by the public eye. During the Thursday Night Football game between the Dolphins and Bengals, Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was carried off the field in a stretcher after being slammed to the ground, suffering clear and obvious head trauma during the play. This happened just four days after Tagovailoa suffered an injury that showed all the signs of a concussion — specifically the Gross Motor Instability (GMI) section of the league’s protocol — but was later designated as a back injury.
The frightening scene of Tagovailoa laying on the ground in a posturing position after suffering the injury has put the Dolphins and the NFL under heavy fire about concussions, the protocol for concussions and how players are cleared to play.
With Fitzpatrick now cleared, and in light of what has transpired since Thursday night, there will likely be a little extra attention paid to everything Fitzpatrick does on the field.
• Kevin Dotson (ankle), Pressley Harvin (left hip) and Larry Ogunjobi (non-injury/rest) were full participants in practice Friday and do not have any injury designation for Sunday’s game.
• Cam Sutton (groin) also appeared on Friday’s injury report for the first time this week and was limited in practice, but has no injury designation for Sunday. Still something worth some extra attention because …
• Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) did not practice at all this week. He has been ruled out and will not play against the Jets.