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Artie Burns returns to Steelers practice after hyper-extended knee injury

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The Pittsburgh Steelers got some good news on the injury front with Artie Burns returning to practice Thursday.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

When you hear “non-contact knee injury”, you typically envision the worst possible scenario. That is what happened to Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns on Wednesday at the team’s first official practice, but Burns told reporters Thursday he will be limited in practice, but should be able to play Sunday when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to Heinz Field for an AFC Divisional Round playoff game.

The key to Burns’ injury, just like any other injury with the Steelers, is practice participation. Burns returning for Thursday’s session is a great first step, but if he isn’t able to practice fully on Friday it could equate to him watching the playoff game rather than participating in it.

As has been reported, if Burns is unable to play, rookie Cameron Sutton will fill in and take on the starter role while the rest of the secondary would remain intact.

There was a brief update on Stephon Tuitt, who also left practice early Wednesday with an elbow injury. Reports circulated Wednesday how Tuitt was seen leaving the locker room with his arm in a sling. Whether that was precautionary or not, it was reported Tuitt did not have any support on his elbow before Thursday’s practice.

With the amount of running the Jaguars do, the loss of Tuitt would be huge. Yes, Tyson Alualu is a tremendous depth piece, but Tuitt is a premiere 3-4 defensive end. Keep an eye on the injury report to see whether Tuitt practices, or not. If he doesn’t, the Steelers might be faced with going without No. 91 when the ball is kicked off at Heinz Field at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the Steelers and Jaguars upcoming playoff grudge match.