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Steelers Injury Updates

10 Steelers Did Not Practice Wednesday, Including Conner, DeCastro, Johnson, Smith-Schuster

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Ten Steelers did not practice during Wednesday’s first session of the week as the team begins preparation for the Denver Broncos, which come to Heinz Field on Sunday.

According to the team’s injury report, center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Stephon Tuitt, guards David DeCastro and Stefen Wisniewski, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back James Conner, tackles Zach Banner and Alejandro Villanueva and wide receivers Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.

Smith-Schuster (knee), Johnson (toe) and Tuitt (Achilles) are suffering from newly revealed injuries. Their status for this Sunday’s game remains unclear.

Banner (right ACL), Conner (ankle) and Wisniewski (pectoral muscle) were injured in Monday night’s win over the New York Giants. Banner is expected to undergo surgery on Friday and miss the rest of the season. Head coach Mike Tomlin said that he would “leave the light on” for Conner and Wisniewski to be able to play this week.

Zach Banner on Knee Injury: ‘I’m Going to Get Over This’

DeCastro (knee) has been out since the second week of training camp, but Tomlin said on Tuesday that he was hopeful he would be able to practice this week.

Villanueva has an illness. Roethlisberger and Pouncey were listed as coach’s decisions. Roethlisberger has typically taken Wednesday practices off for the last few seasons.

During the Giants game, Benny Snell replaced Conner at running back, Chukwuma Okorafor replaced Banner at right tackle and Kevin Dotson replaced Wisniewski and DeCastro at right guard.

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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: DeCastro and Wisniewski Out for Sunday

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Pittsburgh Steelers guards David DeCastro (knee) and Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral muscle) both did not practice Friday and are listed as out for Sunday’s home opener against the Denver Broncos.

DeCastro has been hobbled for several weeks since injuring his knee in training camp and missed last week’s game against the New York Giants, while Wisniewski started Monday night, but left in the fourth quarter. Wisniewski was placed on the reserve/injured list Friday afternoon.

With both sidelined, rookie guard Kevin Dotson looks slated to make his first career start on Sunday.

James Conner (ankle) was a full participant in practice again Friday after leaving the season opener in the second quarter. By getting a feel for his health and receiving treatment, Conner believes he is “definitely trending in the right direction.”

With injuries forcing him to miss six games in 2019, Conner expressed frustration when speaking with the media Friday.

“(The injury) was frustrating, I wanted to be out there. We won the game, that is the most important thing,” he said. “I am not naïve. I know stuff happens. I am trying to do everything I can to stay healthy. I am going to stay in my lane and leave it in God’s hands and everything is going to be all right.”

Wide receivers Diontae Johnson (toe) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot), left tackle Alejandro Villanueva (illness) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Achilles) were also all full participants in practice on Friday. All had missed practice Wednesday with minor ailments, but have now participated two-straight days and are ready for Sunday.

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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: DeCastro, Wisniewski Still Out; Rest of Team Back in Action

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The Steelers got a good bit more healthy on Thursday, as eight of the 10 players that missed Wednesday’s practice returned to work for the team’s second session in preparation for hosting the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Guards David DeCastro (knee) and Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral muscle) were the lone holdouts. DeCastro has missed several weeks since injuring his knee in a training camp scrimmage. Wisniewski started the Steelers’ season opener against the New York Giants on Monday night in his place, but left the game in the fourth quarter, giving way to rookie Kevin Dotson, who appears to be in line to start in Week 2.

James Conner also left that game with an ankle injury, but was a full participant in practice on Thursday. Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he would “leave the light on” for both Conner and Wisniewski to return to action. Conner’s participation on Thursday portends a positive trend, though Benny Snell was productive while replacing him on Monday and could demand a greater workload going forward.

Wide receivers Diontae Johnson (toe) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Achilles) all finished the game but did not practice on Wednesday with apparently minor ailments and returned to action on Thursday.

Also back at work were left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who missed Wednesday with an illness, and center Maurkice Pouncey and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who were given Wednesday off.

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Steelers Injury Updates

Ben Roethlisberger Says His Arm Feels Fine after First Game Back

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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired right elbow passed yet another test on Monday as he was able to perform solidly in his team’s 26-16 opening-night victory over the New York Giants.

There was certainly some rust that needed knocked off, three new passing targets to get better acquainted with and more, but from a physical standpoint, Roethlisberger passed with flying colors.
Two days after the game, Roethlisberger said on Wednesday that his body is still sore from the abuse administered by the Giants’ defense. But his arm is doing just fine.

“I was saying today I feel like I was just in a car accident,” he said. 
“Yesterday, I felt like I was in a train wreck. Hopefully, tomorrow it just feels like I fell off a bike or something. I’m definitely sore. The good news is my arm is the only thing that doesn’t hurt. That’s good.”

Roethlisberger said hasn’t had to change much about his arm-care routine, either. Monday night, he wore a compression sleeve over the elbow during play and then a larger, jacket sleeve over it at times on the sideline.

‘That’s a sleeve from a heavy jacket that the equipment guys made for me,” Roethlisberger said. “Rather than put the whole jacket on when it’s warm out, we just have that on the side to keep the elbow warm, kind of like a pitcher if you will. It got a little cool down there at times with the breeze. So, I was just doing what the doctor ordered and keeping my elbow warm.”

In between games, it’s mostly going to be the same routine Roethlisberger has utilized the last few seasons with an off day Wednesday before practicing Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“We will just keep the same routine in terms of Wednesday rest day and then get back into it,” he said. “The biggest thing I’ve been told from the doctors is keep it warm, hence the sleeve on the sideline and the sleeve I wore during the game. That’s going to be the biggest thing from what I have been told is making sure it stays warm, throw some passes on the sidelines if there is a long series or something.”

Considering what Roethlisberger has been through over the last year — detailed in his ongoing docuseries “Bigger Than Ben” — that seems like small task to be able to keep the quarterback on the field and playing at a high level.

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