Jun 11, 2023
Steelers practice report: Minkah Fitzpatrick excused by Mike Tomlin for personal matter
TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. Minkah Fitzpatrick did not practice for the third day in a row at the outset of
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Minkah Fitzpatrick did not practice for the third day in a row at the outset of training camp for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unlike the first two practices, Fitzpatrick wasn’t wearing a floppy hat and watching from the field while his teammates practiced Saturday.
Coach Mike Tomlin said that he has given the All-Pro free safety a “few days” to deal with a personal matter.
“He is being excused, and he has my support,” Tomlin said.
Fitzpatrick spent the first two days of practice observing from a spot on the field behind the defense. His absence was noticeable Saturday when the Steelers conducted their third of four heat-acclimation practices at Saint Vincent.
Tomlin listed three players as having left practice early:
• Defensive end DeMarvin Leal left the field because he had difficulty breathing. “We don’t think it’s significant,” Tomlin said.
• Safety Damontae Kazee, who opened practice working with the first team at safety, injured his ankle. Tomlin said Kazee could miss a day or two of practice.
• Rookie running back Alfonzo Graham injured his shoulder when he “fell and hit the ground,” Tomlin said. He also is being evaluated.
Tomlin said a few other players were limited with “minor things as we continue to acclimate ourselves to this environment.”
The Steelers kept practicing through a heavy rainstorm that hit Saint Vincent more than midway through the two-hour session. The Steelers had begun a special teams punting period when the rain intensified.
“I love when we’re faced with challenges,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin gathered his players after the rain subsided. The Steelers continued with one seven-on-seven and one full team period before practice concluded.
“I called the group up in the midst of it to talk directly about it,” Tomlin said. “Often when we get weather like we did today, it can be difficult to stay on your feet in the secondary. We have to do a great job of staying on our feet in conditions like this.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
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