Steelers captain and standout defensive lineman Cam Heyward will miss multiple weeks with a groin injury he suffered against the San Francisco 49ers, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
Heyward is likely heading to injured reserve, Garafolo says, and surgery to repair the injury is on the table. He suffered the injury early in the game and tried to return but could not finish the game. As a result, Heyward could be through the Steelers bye week if he goes on the injured reserve. Pittsburgh’s bye week is after Week 5.
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.
Cam Heyward is not the only injury to worry about, with plenty of others dealing with injuries. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson was not seen after leaving the field immediately after a third-quarter catch when he grabbed his right hamstring.
Right tackle Chuks Okorafor left the game on the final offensive drive, and the team did not have time to issue an in-game update on his status. Tomlin said he is “probably in the concussion protocol” and didn’t have much information on his status in the future.
Tomlin clarified that defensive end DeMarvin Leal is dealing with a triceps injury. It was initially listed as an elbow issue. Leal returned after the injury but did not finish the game. It could have simply been because of the lopsided score at that point.
The same can be said of tight end Pat Freiermuth, who was hurt on the final drive of the first half. He returned to the game after being announced as questionable to return with his chest injury but was not on the field for the final offensive drive. Guard James Daniels and wide receiver Miles Boykin are both in walking boots.