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Mike Tomlin Expects Some Big Returns At Practice This Week

A closeup of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin holding a challenge flag.

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 02: head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts in the first half during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Heinz Field on December 2, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers nearly defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in a thriller on Sunday night without several key players. Fortunately for the Steelers, reinforcements are on the way.

On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he expects Minkah Fitzpatrick, Joe Haden, Isaiahh Loudermilk and T.J. Watt to return to practice this week.

Haden and Watt both suffered injuries in Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. The former suffered a mid-foot sprain, whereas the latter sustained left knee and hip injuries due to a collision.

Loudermilk also suffered an injury, but it occurred during practice leading up to the Chargers game. He was ruled out for Sunday's game with a groin injury as a result.

As for Fitzpatrick, he has been on the Reserve/COVID list for over a week. He's eligible to return to the Steelers' lineup this weekend, though.

The Steelers' defense struggled mightily on Sunday without all these playmakers. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert carved up Tomlin's defense, completing 30-of-41 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 90 yards on the ground.

If all these key contributors return for this Sunday's game against the Bengals, the Steelers should have more success on the defensive side of the ball.

The Steelers should have updates on Fitzpatrick, Haden, Loudermilk and Watt later this week.