As the Pittsburgh Steelers gear up for a crucial divisional showdown against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, they are poised to welcome back a significant asset to their offensive lineup. Tight end Pat Freiermuth, sidelined since Week 4 due to a hamstring injury, is set for a return to the field, as reported by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.
Freiermuth's journey back to the gridiron has been a challenging one. After sustaining the injury in a game against the Houston Texans, he missed a week in hopes of a quick recovery for Week 6. However, a re-aggravation of the injury during practice led to a more severe setback, culminating in his placement on injured reserve on October 21.
The road to recovery saw a positive turn earlier this week when Freiermuth was cleared to return to practice. He showed promising progress, transitioning from limited participation on Wednesday to full practice sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expressed confidence in Freiermuth's readiness for the upcoming game, a sentiment that solidified after observing his performance throughout the week.
Freiermuth Bolsters Offense
Freiermuth's return is timely for the Steelers' offense, which has struggled in the passing game.
Before his injury, he had notched eight receptions for 53 yards and two touchdowns in four games. His potential as a critical receiver for quarterback Kenny Pickett is undeniable, highlighted by his impressive 732 receiving yards in 2022.
The Steelers are optimistic about Freiermuth reigniting this chemistry and boosting their offense against the Browns' formidable defense. While the offense receives a boost with Freiermuth's return, Pittsburgh faces challenges on the defensive front.
Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, out with a hamstring injury, and Keanu Neal, nursing a rib injury, are confirmed absences for Sunday's matchup. This game, pivotal in the AFC North standings, is scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.
With both teams eyeing a victory to strengthen their playoff aspirations, the return of Freiermuth adds an intriguing dynamic to what promises to be a compelling contest.