PITTSBURGH — Steelers tight end Darnell Washington is dealing with a knee injury, and he missed practice on Wednesday due to that injury. It is unknown what the Steelers’ level of concern with the injury is, but Mike Tomlin did not name him on the list of injuries in his Tuesday press conference.
If Washington can, for whatever reason, not play, the Steelers will have Pat Freiermuth and Connor Heyward. Their options on the practice squad include fullback Zander Horvath and tight end Rodney Williams to help fill that void left behind by Washington.
It is unknown which knee Darnell Washington injured, but it should be noted that he fell in the NFL Draft due to knee injury concerns. Still coming out of the NFL Draft, Washington had no concerns about his knee. But not all the teams in the league agreed with that.
“You know, with my health, I feel great,” Washington said after he was drafted. “Some teams had concerns with knees because I’m taller and a bigger guy. They talked about some knee swelling. For me, I had no injury with my knees ever, knock on wood. I never tore anything in the knees. I had knee surgery on the right knee, but that was just cartilage that flaked up, they went in and cleaned it.”
Washington has played a fair amount in both games in the Steelers’ 12 and 13 personnel looks. He is the best blocking tight end on the team; losing Washington would hurt an already questionable rushing attack more without his presence on the end to help. It would put guys like Freiermuth and Heyward in more in-line situations, something the Steelers want to get both guys away from to utilize their talents in other areas. Working on a short week, guys such as Washington must log practices in the next two days to suit up in Las Vegas.