UNITY TWP., Pa. — Pittsburgh Steelers defensive captain Cam Heyward returned to practice on Tuesday after missing the team’s preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week and an additional practice this week with an undisclosed illness.
Heyward did not suit up when the Steelers took to the field for the first time at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Friday, but that was not unusual, as many of the team’s most-veteran players on defense did not.
After an off day Saturday, the Steelers returned to their practice field at St. Vincent College on Sunday, but Heyward was not with them.
“He’s sick and so we thought we’d allow him to get right and maybe protect some of the others in the process,” head coach Mike Tomlin said.
Tomlin’s goal in keeping Heyward away from the team may have been met, as the Steelers had few unanticipated absences from practice on Tuesday, with the potential exception of outside linebacker Markus Golden, who did not practice for unknown reasons.
Without Heyward, and fellow starting defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, who is battling a foot/ankle injury, in the lineup, the Steelers started Isaiahh Loudermilk and Armon Watts alongside nose tackle Montravius Adams with the first-team defense on Friday. DeMarvin Leal also worked in Heyward’s place with the first team defense on Sunday.
After Tuesday, the Steelers have two more practices this week, working Wednesday and Thursday at St. Vincent College before wrapping up training camp. The team’s second preseason game will be this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Acrisure Stadium against the Buffalo Bills.