PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver George Pickens popped up on the team’s injury report on Saturday with a hamstring injury and practiced on a limited basis. While the team does not have a game designation for him, meaning that Pickens will play against the Browns, the injury is something to watch as they play. Soft tissue injuries, such as hamstring injuries, are easily reaggravated.
The Steelers will already be without Diontae Johnson, who is dealing with a potential multi-week hamstring injury himself. With George Pickens banged up, guys like Gunner Olszewski, Miles Boykin, and Dez Fitzpatrick could see additional time. Allen Robinson and Calvin Austin III are expected to start alongside Pickens against a stacked Browns wide receiver room.
In addition to the Pickens note, Anthony McFarland will miss the team’s game with a knee injury. However, the team hopes they can get him back soon enough. Pickens’s injury must be monitored, but he will play. It’s just, at times, risky business to play with a hamstring injury for any player.
The team looks to Pickens to step up as a top receiver, Allen Robinson II to regain form, and, more importantly, Calvin Austin III to prove he is ready to be something more than a speedy gadget guy. The Steelers will keep a plan that allows them to be multiple. They will work in more tight ends, running backs, and move the receivers around. That all will check into how Johnson gets replaced. But the playmakers at wide receiver need to step up.