Starting cornerback Joe Haden fractured his fibula early into the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts. It was declared a high fibula fracture, which is a less severe fracture than a lower fibula. Still, Haden will be out indefinitely and potentially the rest of the season. He will be evaluated on Monday when the team is able to find out the severity of the injury.
#Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says that CB Joe Haden broke his fibula and is out indefinitely. Major hit to the secondary.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2017
Haden has had a strong comeback after being injured most of the past three seasons. The team took a bet on Haden after he was released from the Cleveland Browns. It had looked like environment was holding Haden back as 2017 was his best season of the past four years. However, the injury bug caught back up to Haden and may have taken away his one chance to participate in a playoff game.
The Steelers play Thursday and it is a lock that Haden will not play. The Steelers will look to Coty Sensabaugh, who stepped in for Haden to finish out the game on Sunday to start on Thursday. However, there is a sleeper to watch as the team heads towards the playoffs. Rookie Cameron Sutton is eligible to return from the IR. He has not practiced yet, but this week seems like the perfect chance to activate him and see what they have in him.
It will not come next week and likely will not come the week after. However, over the final month of the season, it would not be a surprise if Sutton was able to earn the starting spot opposite of Artie Burns. Sensabaugh does not have a long standing on the team and was on the chopping block to make room for Sutton as it was. Now, it may be Haden heading to the IR to free up the spot for Sutton, and while Sutton still may supplant Sensabaugh, it will be for a bigger role than expected.