T.J. Watt will be making his long-awaited return, but the Steelers will be without one of their other top defensive players for Sunday's game against the Saints. Former All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is expected to miss multiple games after undergoing an appendectomy following Saturday's walk-through, according to ESPN.
Sunday will mark the second game this season Fitzpatrick has had to miss. The five-year veteran missed the Steelers' Week 6 win over the Buccaneers with a knee injury. Fitzpatrick was also placed in the league's concussion protocol following Pittsburgh's Week 3 loss to the Browns.
Despite his injuries, Fitzpatrick has enjoyed a solid season. In seven games, the former first-round pick has three interceptions, six pass breakups and 45 tackles. He was tabbed as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after tallying 14 tackles, a pick-six and a blocked point-after attempt that allowed the Steelers to defeat the Bengals in overtime back in Week 1.
Second-year defensive back Tre Norwood is in line to replace Fitzpatrick in the starting lineup. The former Oklahoma standout is a versatile player who made several key plays with Fitzpatrick out during Pittsburgh's upset win over Tampa Bay in Week 6.
The Steelers also placed recently-acquired defensive back William Jackson III on injured reserve. Jackson, who was acquired from Washington just before the trade deadline, has been dealing with a back injury that was initially sustained during the Commanders' game against the Titans back on Oct. 9.
Pittsburgh's defense will face a Saints offense that is currently 29th in the NFL in scoring. New Orleans offense features a familiar face in Andy Dalton, who faced the Steelers 16 times as a member of the Bengals. The Steelers are 13-3 against Dalton, who is in the midst of his first season with the Saints.