PITTSBURGH — The Steelers could be getting Calvin Austin III back soon. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that the rookie wide receiver’s 21-day practice window can open as soon as Wednesday. While he did clarify whether or not that will happen just yet, Austin is eligible to return to the Steelers as soon as Sunday.
“Austin is eligible to come up this week,” Tomlin said. “And by come up, I mean you have an opportunity to start the 21-day window to practice and make judgments from there.”
Tomlin noted that the quality of his work and what he is able to do throughout the practices will determine what the Steelers will do from there. It is no guarantee that Austin will return against the Bills, but there is that option if Pittsburgh deems Austin as ready to come back into the fold.
Austin suffered a foot injury prior to the team’s first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. He has not practiced since August 11, the day before he suffered the foot injury. While the injury was not perceived as serious, it still landed Austin on injured reserve and forced him to miss the first four weeks of the season.
Even if Austin does return against Buffalo, it should not be expected that he gets a heavy workload. Calvin Austin will have to ramp up his conditioning and role in order to play a significant role. In order to return to the active roster, the Steelers will have to release one player in order to fit Austin onto the 53-man roster.