Cam Heyward will need surgery on his groin injury, and now we know what that injury is — a sports hernia. Also known as a core muscle injury, Heyward suffered the injury against the 49ers, and the recovery is still around eight weeks, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
However, the Steelers will take as much time as they need to evaluate Cam Heyward and his recovery. Mike Tomlin said on Wednesday that the team is in no rush to place either Heyward or Diontae Johnson on injured reserve after they suffered their injuries on Sunday. Both players are expected to miss an extended period.
“We don’t have to make a decision, so we’re not,” Tomlin said Wednesday. “Time affords us more information. I’m just acknowledging that he’s out this week. We’ll take a look and see where the healing is and worry about judgments in subsequent weeks after that.”
For the defensive line, their game against the Browns will become critical to decide how the team’s future will go without Heyward. Guys such as Keeanu Benton, Montravius Adams, Isaiahh Loudermilk, Armon Watts, and others will be critical to step up with Heyward out. It is a tough blow for the Steelers to swallow for their All-Pro defensive lineman, who has been a bastion of health over his career. The groin injury is the first significant injury he has had in recent years, and now the load will go even more onto T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith to make things happen off the edge.
Breiden Fehoko is the top candidate to replace Heyward’s roster spot on the 53-man roster. If he goes on injured reserve, Heyward will be out through at least the Steelers’ bye week, but it seems likelier that he will be out until November. If that occurs, Heyward’s likely return date would be November 12th against the Green Bay Packers.