Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman Cam Heyward is reportedly undergoing surgery to repair a groin injury Thursday (September 14) and is "expected to miss about eight weeks," but will return midway through the 2023 NFL season, sources with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.
Heyward, a perennial Pro Bowler, experienced the injury during the second quarter of the Steelers' 30-7 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 on Sunday (September 10), having attempted to re-enter the game before being ruled out after one play.
"#Steelers perennial Pro Bowl DL Cam Heyward is having surgery to repair his groin today in Pittsburgh, per me and @MikeGarafolo. He’s expected to miss about eight weeks, but will be back midway through this season. He suffered his injury Sunday," Rapoport wrote on his X account Thursday.
The Steelers struggled in Heyward's absence with 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey scoring a 65-yard touchdown in the third quarter and recording 152 yards on 6.9 yards per carry.
"We got kicked in the teeth today in a lot of ways," said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin after the loss.
Third-year defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk and rookie Keannu Benton are expected to get more playing time in the absence of Heyward, a mainstay on Pittsburgh's defense. The 34-year-old was selected to the Pro Bowl for the sixth consecutive season and recorded more than 10 sacks for the second year in a row.