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Minkah Fitzpatrick sits out Wednesday’s practice; Cameron Heyward limited

Mike Florio and Chris Simms react to Mike Tomlin naming Kenny Pickett the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting quarterback ahead of Week 5.

The Steelers are battered and bruised on defense, especially in the secondary, with seven defenders on the injury report. No offensive players are on it.

Three players in the team’s secondary did not practice Wednesday, including free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee).

Strong safety Terrell Edmunds (concussion) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) also sat out. Witherspoon is expected to miss his second consecutive game.

Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward has ankle and elbow injuries that limited him Wednesday.

Cornerback Cameron Sutton (groin/hamstring), cornerback Levi Wallace (foot) and defensive lineman Chris Wormley (aknle) also were limited.

“We’ve got some things to manage,” coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday, via Teresa Varley of the team website. “But I don’t necessarily view that as a negative, to be quite honest with you. It might minimize these guys some during the week, but what it will do is provide more reps for those that are playing in place of them. Oftentimes, when things happen in game, those guys that are playing in place of people aren’t afforded the opportunity to ready themselves. I’m going to view it as a positive. I’m going to focus our energies on the guys that are working.

“We’re going to remain hopeful about the inclusion of these guys, and we’re going to let their participation and the quality of their participation as we get toward the latter part of the week be our guide in terms of determining whether or not they’ll be available to us. In the meanwhile, we’re really going to focus on some of these guys that get an opportunity to elevate and participate and make sure that they’re on the screws. We’ve got the type of detain and communication we need from them to put together a good collective in an effort to go up there and do the job.”

The Steelers designated rookie receiver Calvin Austin III (foot) to return to practice Wednesday. It opens a 21-day practice window before the team has to decide whether to activate him back to the 53-player roster or leave him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.