PITTSBURGH — The Steelers added outside linebacker Alex Highsmith to the injury report with a groin injury and listed him as a did not practice participant. It is unclear when the injury occurred, but Highsmith’s inclusion is new and notable, given the impact the edge rushers have had on the games Pittsburgh has won this year.
In his place, Markus Golden and Nick Herbig would step up if given the chance. Pittsburgh might be better suited to absorb the loss of Highsmith or T.J. Watt. Herbig confirmed to Steelers Now that without Highsmith, he took most of the reps on the outside, setting up another rookie with a potentially significant role in this game.
“No doubt, I’m ready,” Herbig said. “I have great guys to look up to like MG (Markus Golden), Alex, and T.J. You know, I’m just so blessed and fortunate to be in this position, honestly.”
Herbig, from Hawai’i, grew up watching Steelers and Ravens because Troy Polamalu is a legend in the islands. He remembers Polamalu’s pick-six of Joe Flacco in the 2008 AFC Championship. It’s a tricky spot for any rookie to be thrust into if Herbig does have to play a significant amount, but he might have to if Highsmith can not go with the groin injury.
“You know, whether that impact is on special teams, defense, whatever that’s on, I’m going to do everything in my power to be a team player and make an impact,” Herbig said. “I know my opportunities are going to come, I just need to capitalize on them.”
The Steelers are banged up, but the Ravens tackles are banged up, too. Both Morgan Moses and Ronnie Stanley have questionable statuses for the upcoming game. That could again place the trenches for the Steelers as a critical matchup. It will be up to Pittsburgh to make something happen out of it.