Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth returns to practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 21-day practice window for tight end Pat Freiermuth on Wednesday.

He returned to practice but remains on injured reserve, the team announced.

His performance this week will determine whether he can play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

“Feel good about Pat Freiermuth and we’ll watch him go through the week and look at the quality of his work and the amount of it, and how he feels and let that be a determining factor,” coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday. “But feel good about his potential availability.”

Freiermuth landed on IR on Oct. 21 when he aggravated a right hamstring injury. He has not played since a Week 4 loss at Houston on Oct. 1.

Freiermuth, 25, has eight catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns in four games (all starts) this season. He has 131 receptions for 1,282 yards and 11 TDs in 36 games (21 starts) since Pittsburgh picked him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Tight end Connor Heyward (17 catches for 137 yards) has made three starts in Freiermuth’s absence.

Pittsburgh (6-3) is looking for a season sweep of its AFC North rivals when it visits Cleveland (6-3) on Sunday. The Steelers won 26-22 at home in Week 2.

Also on Wednesday, the Steelers signed defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko and linebacker Tyler Murray to the practice squad.