The Steelers, after a disastrous start to the 2019 season, made several trades to help right the ship prior to the deadline. After an 0-2 start, the Steelers made the unorthodox decision to trade their 2020 first-round pick to Miami in exchange for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who on Sunday scored his third defensive touchdown since joining the Steelers. Less than two weeks after acquiring Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh swapped future late-round draft picks to acquire tight end Nick Vannett to help add depth to the position. While Vannett ultimately did not stay in Pittsburgh longterm, he helped the Steelers salvage what many thought was a lost season after Ben Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending elbow injury.
Pittsburgh is in a vastly different place with this year's trade deadline just around the corner. With Big Ben back under center, the Steelers are off to their first 5-0 start since 1978, the season that saw them win their third of four Super Bowls in a six-year span. While Roethlisberger is off to the best statistical start of his career, Pittsburgh has picked up where it left off last season after acquiring Fitzpatrick. On Sunday, the Steelers joined the 1985 Giants as the only two defenses in league history to record at least three sacks and one interception during the season's first five games.
The Steelers did take a personnel hit on Sunday, however, when starting inside linebacker Devin Bush reportedly suffered a torn ACL that will require season-ending surgery. When asked about the prospect of replacing Bush, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expressed confidence in backup Robert Spillane, who recorded six tackles after replacing Bush during Pittsburgh's 38-7 win over Cleveland. Tomlin added that he expects second-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert and third-year veteran Marcus Allen (who has moved from safety to linebacker) to help fill the void left by Bush's absence.