Pittsburgh defensive end Stephon Tuitt’s left biceps is healing and he may be ready to play against Minnesota on Sunday.
While Tuitt went through some cardio work and hit tackling dummies, he didn’t participate during the team portion of practice on Friday and hasn’t been involved in contact of any kind since he felt his left arm go numb on the second play from scrimmage in last weekend’s win over Cleveland.
"You make a sack (the first play), then second play you make a nine-yard tackle for loss, swiping the tight end," Tuitt said. "Stuff happens. It’s football. I just swiped at the dude and it happened."
An MRI on Monday revealed no major damage and coach Mike Tomlin likened the injury as more week-to-week. The Steelers officially listed Tuitt as questionable, though Tomlin cautioned it’s too early in the season for players to be cleared if they don’t practice. Tuitt was limited during final preparations for the Vikings (1-0).
"I’ve still got (Friday and Saturday) to get some stuff going," Tuitt said. "We’ve still got capable guys out there if I’m not able to go that day."
Should Tuitt sit, Tyson Alualu and L.T. Walton will split Tuitt’s reps. Both played well against the Browns as the Steelers (1-0) racked up seven sacks and limited Cleveland to just 57 yards rushing.
While Tuitt is likely out, linebacker Bud Dupree should make his season debut after missing the opener with a right-shoulder injury. Dupree wore extra padding during practice on Friday and was not listed on the injury report.
"Me personally, I feel like I’m going to do it," Dupree said.
Anthony Chickillo starred in Dupree’s absence, picking up a pair of sacks and recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Browns. Chickillo will return to a more reserve role, with Dupree lining up across from rookie T.J. Watt. Watt picked up two sacks and added an interception in his NFL debut.
Safety J.J. Wilcox is questionable after going through the league’s concussion protocol. Tight end Vance McDonald, who missed practice earlier in the week, is questionable with a back injury.
Only backup offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins (knee) is officially out as the Steelers look for their fourth 2-0 start under Tomlin.