Minkah Fitzpatrick: 2023 was my first and hopefully last year to sit a significant amount of time

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had a difficult 2023 season, with injuries limiting him to 10 games.

The three-time first-team All-Pro safety said in a recent interview with Teresa Varley of the team’s website that not being on the field for games was “definitely tough.”

“It's part of the game. It was my first year and hopefully my last year where I've sat a significant amount of time," said Fitzpatrick. "I just tried to embrace it. I tried to still lean from that position, that stance. Even though I wasn't playing, there were still ways I was trying to get better, whether it be on the field or off the field.

"I just had to embrace it. It's part of the game, part of our job."

Fitzpatrick finished the year with 64 total tackles along with three passes defensed in 10 games. He was named a Pro Bowler for the fourth time.

The safety noted that he made an effort to stay engaged, particularly with “the little things” that people were saying around the building.

“Whether it's subtly or in your face, I was trying to take heed of everything that was going on and trying to correct some things that were being talked about,” Fitzpatrick said. “I had the necessary conversations.

"The reason I recognized I needed to work on it was because I had the opportunity to be still and really see what was going on. When you are in the mix of it, you are game planning and scheming, you can lose sight of all the little details, or you become nose blind to what is going on around you. The fact that I had time to be aware of what was going on is something I want to implement more. I want to make time to be where my feet are. Listen to more of what is going on in the locker room. Listen to what is going on upstairs. It's something I want to apply moving forward."

As the Steelers look to improve on a 9-8 season with a postseason exit in the wild card round, Fitzpatrick will continue to be a key piece and leader for the team’s defense in 2024.