PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are thrilled to have their star defensive tackle, Cameron Heyward, back in action just in time for a challenging matchup against Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans.
The Steelers officially activated Heyward from the injured reserve list on Wednesday, removing any injury designation for Thursday night’s game. This means Heyward will be active and ready to face the Titans.
Heyward has been sidelined since suffering a groin injury early in the team’s Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 34-year-old underwent surgery shortly after the injury and was initially expected to return after about eight weeks. However, his impressive recovery has allowed him to make a comeback just seven weeks post-surgery.
“I have complete faith in the medical staff, and despite my age, I believe I’ve made great progress,” Heyward shared last week.
The Steelers initiated Heyward’s 21-day practice window on October 26 to assess his readiness.
“I’m not rushing the process,” Heyward emphasized after his first practice session. “Healing is taking effect, but I need more practice reps to get comfortable and trust myself and my body.”
The absence of Heyward has led to inconsistencies in the Steelers’ run defense. Although the team limited Jaguars’ running back Travis Etienne to just 3.3 yards per carry, they still rank in the bottom ten of the league, allowing an average of 4.6 yards per carry.
On the other hand, the Titans average 4.5 yards per carry and have amassed 811 rushing yards. Derrick Henry currently stands fifth in the NFL with 526 rushing yards.
“He’s a game-changer,” teammate T.J. Watt praised Heyward. “He has a wealth of experience in this matchup, and whenever we have a player of his caliber on the field, it unquestionably makes a difference.”
Heyward sustained his injury while attempting to sack quarterback Brock Purdy during the first half of the Week 1 game. The severity of the injury was immediately apparent, and although Heyward initially tried to play through the pain, he quickly realized it was not feasible.
“My legs twisted in an awkward manner, causing the injury,” Heyward explained. “Initially, I wasn’t sure what had happened, but I couldn’t move the way I wanted. The adductor tore, and I was already dealing with a core muscle injury. Both factors played a role, but injuries are part of the game, and I won’t shy away from it.”
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