Just as they were about to get T.J. Watt back, the Pittsburgh Steelers are out another All-Pro.
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will miss multiple weeks after being forced to undergo an appendectomy after the team's walkthrough on Saturday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Fitzpatrick had reportedly not felt well at practice, then testing revealed the need for an appendectomy as soon as possible.
The Steelers had already ruled him out Sunday, but confirmation of the surgery means an extended absence.
Fitzpatrick, a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and 2020, is obviously a big loss for the Steelers. He already had 45 combined tackles, six passes defended and three interceptions in seven games, missing one game in Week 6 with a knee injury.
The Steelers signed him to a four year, $73.6 million contract extension this offseason, which is set to go into effect after this season.
Schefter notes Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sidelined 2 1/2 weeks before training camp after an appendectomy, which would put Fitzpatrick in line to miss at least Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints and Week 11's game against the Bengals.
The next game after that is on Nov. 28 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The good news for Pittsburgh is the return of Watt, who told reporters Friday he will play against the Saints. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been out since Week 1 with a pectoral injury and he has clearly been missed by the 2-6 Steelers.