PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Cole Holcomb suffered what the team fears is a significant knee injury during the club’s 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.
Holcomb was chasing down Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter when teammate Keanu Neal tackled Hopkins and swung around his body. Neal’s left leg impacted Holcomb’s left leg right below Holcomb’s knee, buckling it backward.
The linebacker tumbled forward and could not get up. Teammates and trainers helped him to a cart without putting weight on the leg. He left the field on a cart, and head coach Mike Tomlin said it is a serious injury.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with him, man,” Tomlin said. “I’ll have an update Im sure the next time we come together regarding the nature of that.”
Tomlin is next expected to speak with the media on Tuesday.
Holcomb, 27, is a fifth-year linebacker out of North Carolina. He joined the Steelers this March on a three-year free-agent contract after spending his first four seasons in Washington.
Through seven games, Holcomb was second on the team with 52 tackles, and also had four tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two passes defended.
He was also second on the defense with 431 snap entering play on Thursday, behind only Patrick Peterson.
Without Holcomb in the lineup, Kwon Alexander and Elandon Roberts, who have shared time at the other inside linebacker position, both moved into a full-time role. Second-year man Mark Robinson is the only other inside linebacker on the active roster. Tariq Carpenter and Mykal Walker are on the practice squad.