The Steelers have been one of the league's best defenses this season and a big part of that resurgence is due to a secondary that ranks fifth in efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. But Pittsburgh lost one of its best players in the second quarter when cornerback Joe Haden left the game with what was described at the time as a leg injury.
Talking to reporters after Pittsburgh overcame a 17-3 deficit to beat Indianapolis on a last-second field goal in a 20-17 win, coach Mike Tomlin announced that Haden had suffered a fractured fibula in his left leg and that he will be out indefinitely. But ProFootballTalk reports that Haden has a "slight" fracture, won't need surgery and could miss just three weeks.
Haden, who walked off the field after the injury, was later seen on the sidelines on crutches.
Haden on the field on crutches pic.twitter.com/zroIyjvsc4— Rich Walsh KDKA (@RichieWalsh) November 12, 2017
Haden arrived just before the season, signing a three-year deal to join the Steelers days after he was released by the Browns. Haden, originally the seventh-overall pick in the 2010 draft, was Pittsburgh's second-highest-rated defensive back, according to Pro Football Focus, behind slot corner Mike Hilton.
Offseason acquisition Coty Sensabaugh replaced Haden in the lineup and the expectation is that he will remain in the role alongside 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns. The Steelers won't have long to feel sorry for themselves; they'll host the Titans in four days on "Thursday Night Football."
After Tennessee, the Steelers face the Packers and are at Cincinnati. If all goes well, Haden could return in Week 14 against the Ravens.