BALTIMORE — The Steelers will welcome back linebacker Elandon Roberts after a one-game absence. Roberts suffered a pectoral injury against the Bengals and did not play against the Seahawks. He was limited all week, but the eccentric linebacker vowed to play, and he will do just that.
“I’m playing,” Roberts said Thursday.
Asked to elaborate about whether he’s still in pain, Roberts reiterated, “I’m playing.”
Elandon Roberts is the team’s critical linebacker. He entered the season as one of three co-starters at the position, along with Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander. Holcomb was lost for the season with a knee injury. Then Alexander lost for the year to an Achilles injury in consecutive weeks in November, leaving Roberts as the last man standing at the position.
Before Roberts’ injury, the team tried Blake Martinez, Mark Robinson, and Mykal Walker at the position alongside him, with little success, before giving Myles Jack a chance after the former Steelers linebacker came out of retirement to re-join the team.
Jack steadied the ship but got just one-quarter of a game with Roberts before he, too, was injured against the Bengals. Jack started and played every snap against the Seahawks with Roberts out.
It appears that Roberts and Jack will likely play together for the first time all season. That could give the team more flexibility than they have had for most of the year, especially since the injuries to Alexander and Holcomb. Roberts may be on a limited snap count and is wearing protection on his left arm to help protect his injured pec.
Roberts is the team’s green dot wearer and seems likely to do so in his return from injury. While Roberts did return, Pittsburgh did not get Minkah Fitzpatrick nor Trenton Thompson back from injury. It seems they are still one week away from returning, should Pittsburgh make the playoffs.