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Steelers DL Cam Heyward Absent from Final Minicamp Practices



Steelers DL Cam Heyward

PITTSBURGH — Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward was an excused absence for the last two practices of the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Thursday.

Heyward is one of the most senior members of the defense, though he rarely chooses to use that seniority in order to take time away from football. Tomlin declined to discuss the specifics of Heyward’s absence, saying only that “it is” when asked if Heyward’s absence was excused. Tomlin said on the first day of minicamp that the entire team was in attendance.

His absence created opportunities for younger players to step into more prominent roles, such as Isiahh Loudermilk, DeMarvin Leal and Henry Mondeaux.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to be up there with those guys,” Loudermilk said. “It feels good for me. It’s nice to get a chemistry down with those guys. It’s a different feel when you get out there and get reps. I want take advantage of everything I get. So I’m going out there and playing hard. It’s great to play next to Tyson and T.J. [Watt] and those higher level guys.”

Fellow veteran Chris Wormley also was not a full participant this week. With the retirement of Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers are a little thin depth-wise along the defensive line. But Tomlin said he feels comfortable with the group that the Steelers had in camp.

“I’m excited about the guys that we have here to work with,” he said. “Our energies and all our attention is focused on the guys that are available to us.”

Montravius Adam, Carlos and Khalil Davis, Daniel Archibong and rookie free agent Donovan Jeter round out the Steelers defensive line crew on the offseason roster. The team still has one vacant roster spot and could choose to add a defensive lineman before training camp.

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