Steelers HC Mike Tomlin offers update on DE Stephon Tuitt

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The NFL draft is just days away but one question on the mind of many has nothing to do with rookie prospects and everything to do with the status of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt.

As usual, Steelers media live-tweeted from this afternoon’s pre-draft press conference featuring both head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert. ESPN’s Brooke Pryor noted that Tomlin grinned when asked about Tuitt’s status, as it’s a question he expects to hear at each media availability.

It’s well known that Tuitt’s younger brother Richard Bartlett III was killed in a hit-and-run car accident in June of 2021.

Tuitt, 28, missed all of last season for both mental and physical health purposes. Tuitt was not only dealing with a knee injury, but the Steelers were giving him the space he needed to heal mentally from the insurmountable tragedy.

Just as Tomlin said there’s no update but that Tuitt is “doing well,” there’s no update on the case of Bartlett. Because of the nature of the accident, it’s difficult to begin to solve a case without at the very least the driver’s license plate number.

“Despite the best efforts of law enforcement and a $17,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, the case remains unsolved,” Tom Reed of DK Pittsburgh Sports wrote last month.

As Colbert mentioned in a February press conference, the Steelers and Tuitt have been communicating. “We’ve been in contact with Stephon
and we’re very open to continue to help him and we will continue to evaluate that position and his availability to us. We just hope for the best for him as he tries to come back and be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

As usual, the Steelers brass is keeping Tuitt’s status close to the vest. There’s no doubt they know more than they’re leading on and, hopefully, Tuitt’s been open enough for his team to make an informed draft selection if needed.

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Ranking the Steelers defensive positional units heading into the NFL draft