PITTSBURGH — Steelers captain and star defensive end Cam Heyward will play against the Tennessee Titans after they activated him from the injured reserve. Heyward logged full practices throughout the week and does not have an injury designation. That is a boost for the run defense against Derrick Henry for their Thursday Night Football clash.
He took the necessary steps to get back, and said he would not rush it back last week. But now, it appears that Heyward is ready to go back onto the field.
“I am taking it day-by-day,” Heyward said last week. “I am not rushing the process. The healing is taking effect. But I have to get reps under my belt. I gotta feel more comfortable with what I am doing. Trust myself, trust my body. We’ll see where we are at.”
In that press conference, Cam Heyward revealed the true nature of his injury. Heading into the season, he already suffered from a core muscle injury. That worsened against the 49ers, and he tore his adductor muscle in his groin. So, in reality, Heyward is returning from two separate injuries here. He has to pace himself back and get the requisite level of conditioning needed for the workload he plays at on the field.
In conjunction with the doctors, Heyward has worked heavily to get his level of conditioning back to where it was before the injuries. He has no concerns about that now that he will return to the field. The Steelers have a vacant slot on their 53-man roster, so they do not have to make a transaction in order to activate Heyward.
A four-time All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in six consecutive seasons, Heyward’s return should be a big boost for a defense that is 27 in rushing yards per game against this season. Montravius Adams and Larry Ogunjobi are still listed as starters.