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Minkah Fitzpatrick Injury on Knee: It Needs Medication
During a press conference on Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin presented a list of injured players to the media. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was one of the players on that list.
Tomlin stated that Fitzpatrick is struggling with a knee problem that will need to be “managed” going ahead for him to continue playing. Fitzpatrick was listed on the injury report with a concussion the previous week, but he was able to return to action in time to participate in the Jets loss on Sunday (24-20).
It is unclear at this time whether the injury management will put Fitzpatrick at risk of missing any game action, but it appears certain that his practice participation level will be affected in some way. Both defensive end Cam Heyward (elbow) and cornerback Cam Sutton (groyne and hamstring) are included in the group of players who will have their playing time monitored this week due to various injuries. Tomlin also mentioned that safety Terrell Edmunds is going through the concussion protocol and that cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon is likely going to sit out another game due to a hamstring injury.
Minkah Fitzpatrick’s professional career
While in high school, Fitzpatrick starred in football for the St. Peter’s Preparatory School Marauders in Jersey City, New Jersey. Offensively, he played wide receiver, and on defense, he played defensive back. His 2014 stats included 70 tackles and three interceptions on defense in addition to 45 receptions for 1,111 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air. He was also a track and field athlete. He ran the 100-meter in 10.86 seconds and the 200-meter in 21.66 seconds to win the Hudson County Championships. Fitzpatrick was ranked as the fourth-best cornerback in the country in 2015 and was considered a five-star recruit by ESPN.com. Although Fitzpatrick had been verbally committed to Alabama for nearly a year before National Signing Day 2015, he ultimately decided to put pen to paper for the Tide.
Fitzpatrick started 10 of 14 games as a rookie in 2015, with the lone game he didn’t start being due to injury. He made 45 tackles overall, 3 of which were for a loss. He also had 2 sacks, 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), 11 pass breakups, 1 quarterback pressure, and 1 punt return for a touchdown. Along with his teammates at Alabama, he helped them defeat Clemson and claim the title of national champions. After Alabama’s championship season, he was honored as a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News.
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In 2016, Fitzpatrick was a sophomore, and he returned an interception 100 yards to help his team beat 16th-ranked Arkansas, 49-30. This was the longest interception returned for a score in Crimson Tide history. Both the Alabama single-game and career records for interceptions returned for touchdowns were tied by him in that contest (4). As Alabama faced Florida in the 2016 SEC Championship Game, Fitzpatrick returned an interception for a score to set a new school record (4).
In 2017, as a junior, Fitzpatrick made 60 tackles overall, 1.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, and seven pass defenses. With the Crimson Tide’s 26–23 overtime victory over Georgia, he secured his second straight National Championship. Fitzpatrick stated on January 11 that he would forego his remaining eligibility and enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick participated in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, completing the vast majority of the events but not the short shuttle or the three-cone. Fitzpatrick attended the Alabama pro day on March 7, 2018, however, he decided to rely on his combined results and simply run the short shuttle, the three-cone drill, and the positional drills.
The Chicago Bears, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the San Francisco 49ers all hosted Fitzpatrick on pre-draft visits. Fitzpatrick told many teams that while his versatility made it possible for him to play safety or cornerback in the NFL, his primary position of choice would be cornerback. Fitzpatrick may fall in the draught because he does not have a clear role, according to NFL expert Mel Kiper Jr. Experts and scouts in the NFL draught had Fitzpatrick pegged as a first-round pick by the time the process was over. He was projected to be selected in the first fifteen players taken. DraftScout.com listed Fitzpatrick as the top cornerback prospect, but Sports Illustrated and NFL analyst Mike Mayock ranked him as the top safety prospect.
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