Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick began training camp on the NFI (Non-Football Injury) list after falling off of his bike and injuring his wrist while on vacation.
Don’t worry, as per head coach Mike Tomlin, the injury is minor and shouldn’t prevent the accomplished safety, who just signed the biggest contract in the history of safeties, from beginning the 2022 regular season at top strength.
The first thing I thought when I first heard the news was, “Man, they’re going to come after him!” Nothing. Instead, someone said, “Remember when JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t injure himself, but theoretically could have, while participating in the wildly popular (for some reason) milkcrate challenge last summer and posting it on social media? I’m still peeved about that.”
OK, I made that quote up. Nobody said that, but they might as well have. I mean, are you kidding me? Smith-Schuster isn’t allowed to do a challenge and not injure himself, but Fitzpatrick is allowed to fall off of a bike and do the opposite of not injuring himself? Would Smith-Schuster have been allowed to injure himself on a bike last summer or the previous summers when he was still employed by the Steelers?
I can answer that question for you, and the answer is, no, Smith-Schuster would not have been allowed to injure himself while riding a bike. Actually, he would have been allowed during his rookie season when he used one for transportation thanks to not having the ability to drive a car.
Btw, I'm referring to the fans and the media when I say "allowed" as it pertains to Fitzpatrick and Smith-Schuster and their activities away from football.
Anyway, people remembered who Smith-Schuster was by his second season: A receiver.
Yes, Smith-Schuster is a wide receiver, and this inevitably made every non-football activity of his a potential hindrance to either his health, his ability to consume football 24/7 or the Steelers' chances of winning thanks to firing their opponents up something fierce (logo dancing as a guest in another man’s football home).
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not begrudging Fitzpatrick his right to ride a bike while going on vacation—or even simply going on vacation (as long as he took his playbook with him, of course)—but where’s the rage? Again, Fitzpatrick just signed the biggest contract in the history of safeties, a deal that could one day prevent the Steelers from going out and signing an old free agent who will come to town and pretend to be happy to be a backup before passively-aggressively forcing the team to trade or release him over a lack of playing time.
How could Fitzpatrick be so selfish? How can you be so fine with it? I know what it is, Steelers fans just love their defensive players and will always give them the benefit of the doubt.
“The defense is on the field way too long thanks to this inept offense!” is a popular refrain after your average Steelers game where the defense takes one on the chin. It’s never the defense’s fault—unless Bud Dupree and/or Terrell Edmunds are involved, of course. The offense just needs to pull its own weight.
“See those guys in the gold? They’re the tough guys. See those guys in the white? They’re the sissies.” The quote is brought to you by a grandfather I overheard talking to his young grandchild during a visit to Steelers training camp way back in 2011. In case you couldn’t put two and two together, this man was referring to the Steelers defense as the unit with the tough guys, while the offense consisted of...well, you know.
It’s too bad those tough guys can’t ride a bike without falling off of it, however.
I’m not normally mad when a player has the kind of accident that Minkah Fitzpatrick did, but in memory of JuJu Smith-Schuster and his love for off-the-field fun, how dare you act so irresponsibly, Minkah?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go stir the pot with this unnecessary debate.