Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Calvin Austin III suffered a set back to his right foot injury after he returned to practice, which caused him to be unable to continue to practice, a source confirmed to Steelers Now. Austin will now miss the rest of the 2022 season after his 21-day injured reserve return windows closed on Wednesday.
Austin first suffered the injury, which has been reported as Lisfranc sprain, before the start of the Steelers preseason. He was cleared to practice on Oct. 5 and opened his 21-day window, but at some point after that, aggravated the injury and was unable to continue practicing.
As Austin’s 21-day window was coming to a close, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that it was obvious that Austin was not going to be available to play in this week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The only question at that point was whether Austin’s prognosis was good enough for him to take a spot on the team’s 53-man roster until healthy enough to play.
Lisfranc injuries have a high instance of reoccurrence and can require surgery. Steelers defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi suffered the foot sprain toward the end of last season, had surgery, and was still not able to pass a physical after agreeing to a contract with the Chicago Bears in March. His contract was voided and he ended up signing with the Steelers later in the offseason.
The surgery involves placing a screw across a joint and can be debilitating for many months. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had the surgery in December 2019, precipitating his release from the team.
If Austin does require surgery, he is facing a months-long rehab process, and could be limited throughout the early part of the 2023 offseason.
The Steelers’ fourth-round pick out of Memphis in the 2022 NFL Draft, Austin has three more seasons under contract with the team.