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Steelers lose Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kenny Pickett to injury; Browns lose in brutal fashion to Seahawks

A brutal day for the Steelers and Browns.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been terrible this season, and that continued into the first half of their Week 8 game with the Jacksonville Jaguars, though their defense did enough to keep the game close.

A crux of their defense is safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, but he left the Steelers’ Week 8 home matchup with the Jaguars due to a hamstring injury. It was a non-contact injury that looked pretty bad, so hopefully it’s not a season-ending injury.

Here’s a look at the injury.

Fitzpatrick led the team in tackles in the Steelers’ 24-17 road win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7 as well, so his availability is paramount for Pittsburgh moving forward, especially as they end Week 8 with a 4-3 record after losing 20-10 at home to Jacksonville.

He ended last season with a career-high six interceptions. The 26-year-old has been terrific for Pittsburgh since being traded to the Steelers from the Dolphins in 2019.

The Bengals will first play the Steelers in Week 12 at home, a 1 pm ET kickoff, which will be aired on CBS. Hamstring injuries do linger, so as the week progresses, it’ll be important to keep track of if Fitzpatrick gets on the practice field.

The same is true for quarterback Kenny Pickett, who also was forced from the game after suffering a rib injury. The ineffective Mitch Trubisky replaced him.

After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin did not have an update on Pickett’s status, so it’s unclear how bad the injury was, but this is now certainly one of the biggest storylines to follow within the division.

Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns suffered a brutal last-minute loss to the Seattle Seahawks, falling 24-20.

The Browns actually battled back from an early 14-0 hole and actually went on a 20-3 run to take a lead late into the fourth quarter.

But in the final minutes, disaster struck when a PJ Walker pass was batted at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by the Seahawks.

Then with 44 seconds left, Geno Smith dropped back and hit former Ohio State standout Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the game-winning touchdown.

And with the Bengals beating the San Francisco 49ers, the good guys are now tied with the Browns and Steelers at 4-3 overall in the division.

The Baltimore Ravens did take care of business vs. the Arizona Cardinals, winning 31-24 and improving to 6-2. That means Baltimore holds the division lead for at least two more weeks, but this division race just got a lot more interesting, as every team now has a real shot at winning it now that the Bengals are getting back to what we thought they’d be.