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Keith Butler Unsure if Stephon Tuitt Will Return to Steelers in 2022

The Pittsburgh Steelers could continue to build without their defensive end.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could move on from defensive Stephon Tuitt following a season off, according to former defensive coordinator Keith Butler. 

Butler appeared on 93.7 The Fan, saying the decision will come down to Art Rooney II and the team, and that he doesn't know where Tuitt is mentally. 

"I don’t know. I really don’t know. That’s going to have to be up to Mr. Rooney and the organization, really," Butler said. "I have no idea, to be honest with you. I have no idea where he’s sitting, mentally. That’s something that’s very private and we didn’t know a lot about. We just took it for granted that the thing that happened to him and his family was very, very hard on him. He really struggled with it. I hope he comes back for the team. I don’t know if he will. We’ll see what happens."

Tuitt missed the 2021 season while on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. He also suffered the loss of his brother, who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run over the summer. 

Defensive captain Cam Heyward defended the absence of Tuitt following the Steelers Wild Card loss, saying he won't think of "what ifs."

"My brother has been hurting all year and it breaks my heart that I didn’t get to be with him," Heyward said. "That did give a chance to guys like Chris Wormley and Isaiahh Loudermilk and Montravius Adams and Henry Mondeaux to grow. I don’t know what the future holds for guys, but I am with those guys. I mean it. I love those guys. You will never hear me talk one bad word about those guys because I care about those guys too much."

Tuitt is entering the final year of his contract. He's set to make $9.05 million in 2022.

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