Tuitt not at Steelers OTAs, but Heyward says he expects him at some point

The Steelers defensive lineman missed the entire 2021 season
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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Stephon Tuitt was not at the first day of Steelers OTAs, but Cam Heyward says he will be with the team.

“I’ve talked to him,” Heyward said.  “He will be here sooner or later.  My guys will be here.  It’s really early.  I’ve never had full attendance and don’t expect it.”

The defensive end missed all of last season due to injury and the sudden death of his brother was not on the field for the first day of voluntary work.

“This is voluntary,” said Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin.  “I focus my energy on those that are here.  That’s how I make it a productive day.  Particularly the football environment that we are in, we all know the nature of these workouts are voluntary.  I’m doing a disservice to the men that made the commitment to be here if I have any other mentality.”

It’s a common refrain from Tomlin and not meant as any kind of judgment against Tuitt.  Heyward sounded really upbeat and positive about Tuitt being a part of the 2022 team.

“I’m confident in Stephon Tuitt,” Heyward said Tuesday.  “Last year is last year.  We grow, we live, we move on.  My brother was hurting last year, he had to do some things in his life to get him right.  His knee wasn’t right.  I can’t imagine being in the situation he went through.”

Tuitt’s brother was killed during a hit-and-run last June in Johns Creek, Georgia.  As Heyward alluded to, Steelers Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler confirmed last season the severity of the knee injury.

Heyward says Tuitt has also been busy with his family as some of them have moved.  He also said Tuitt got his degree from the University of Notre Dame in the same class with Jerome Bettis and that has taken up some of his time.  Having to come back from injury himself, Heyward expects the 29-year-old Tuitt to not only to be back to form, but anxious to show what he can do.

“This is not something to go crazy about,” Heyward said.  “Let’s worry about the guys that are here.  I know he’s getting work done as well.”