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Steelers’ Damontae Kazee suspended for season; Minkah Fitzpatrick out vs. Bengals due to injury

The Steelers lose a big piece of their defense at a position already in dire straits.

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without both of their starting safeties in Week 16 when they host the Cincinnati Bengals.

Damontae Kazee was just suspended for the remainder of the 2023 NFL season due to repeated violations of playing rules. Kazee was ejected from the team’s Week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts following a hard hit that knocked wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. out of the game.

Here’s the report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Making matters worse for the Steelers is that All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick left Saturday’s loss to the Colts with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return.

He will miss this week’s game, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Oh, and the Steelers lost former starter Keanu Neal in November to a rib injury. He’s on IR and could be activated at any time now, but that won’t happen this week, according to Tomlin.

If Fitzpatrick is out, the Steelers will likely rely on Trenton Thompson and cornerback Patrick Peterson at safety. Peterson moved to safety during the loss to the Colts. The only other available safety the team has is special teamer Miles Killebrew.