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Najee Harris sits out, Minkah Fitzpatrick returns to practice Wednesday ahead of Week 18

Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs for a first down against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field on December 31, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Conor Courtney/Getty Images

After holding a walk-through session on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers team held their first official practice of the week ahead of Saturday’s matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. They’ll kick off, once again, on a Saturday in Week 18, meaning they’ll be on a short week with several key injuries to monitor in a must-win game.

Here’s a full breakdown of Steelers injury report for Wednesday, January 3 ahead of Week 18’s meeting with the Ravens.

Steelers injury report: Wednesday, Jan. 3

DNP: RB Najee Harris (knee)

Limited: S Trenton Thompson (neck), DT Cam Heyward (groin), S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee), LB Elandon Roberts (pectoral)

Full: QB Kenny Pickett (ankle), OG Isaac Seumalo (shoulder)

*Players in italics indicate a status change from Tuesday’s practice report.

The Steelers received plenty of positive news Wednesday, as both safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and linebacker Elandon Roberts returned to practice after having both been listed as nonparticipants on Tuesday’s estimated practice report. Both of their availabilities could prove monumental in Week 18 against this Ravens offense that leads the league in both attempts and rushing yards in the 2023 season, both starters key contributors against the run.

Safety Trenton Thompson and defensive tackle Cam Heyward both remained limited Wednesday, though it’s worth noting that Heyward’s status has been more about ongoing maintenance.

Most notable on Wednesday’s report is the absence of running back Najee Harris, who was downgraded to a nonparticipant Wednesday after previously being listed as limited on Tuesday’s estimated report. Harris has been dealing with a nagging knee injury throughout the month of December and has missed occasional practices while being limited in others, though it hasn’t affected game availability.

Harris is coming off a season-high 27 rush attempts in Week 17 against the Seahawks — the second-most he’s had in any game of his career — which could mean his absence is more about maintenance on a short week than actual concern for his availability.