The Pittsburgh Steelers’ secondary hasn’t been the same since Joe Haden fractured his fibula against the Indianapolis Colts. Some might suggest the team’s pass rush has been a reason for the dropoff, but the fact Haden hasn’t been in the lineup is one very big piece of the puzzle.
Haden is prepared to make his return in Week 16 when the Steelers play the Texans on Christmas Day, and Haden rejoining his teammates will make the secondary whole again. The same secondary which was once ranked in the Top-2 in the NFL among pass defenses.
Haden will be reunited with Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Mike Mitchell, something he has been awaiting for a long time.
“I'm just excited,” Haden told Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review. “Glad I was able to work back and get back for the final two games of the season knowing we have the postseason. I can get in football shape. It's good to get back out there and make some plays.”
Throughout Haden’s absence, the Pittsburgh secondary has been giving up a lot of big plays in the passing game—and the hope is Haden will help with both communication and expertise in the back end, putting an end to the big plays.
While the team will welcome Haden back with open arms, the team also was able to get rookie Cameron Sutton some quality experience throughout Haden’s absence. Although the team bounced between Coty Sensabaugh and Sutton, they were able to see enough of Sutton that they should be extremely pleased with what they’ve got in their third-round draft pick from the 2017 NFL Draft.
As a reminder for those looking for an official injury report, with the Steelers playing on Monday, it pushes everything back a day. Therefore, while the first injury report comes out on Wednesday, Monday games means the first reported practice will be on Thursday.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the upcoming game, and injuries, heading into Week 16.