Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Elandon Roberts will suit up for his team’s Thursday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, according to a report by Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network.
Roberts was officially listed as questionable to play in the game. The veteran inside linebacker suffered a groin injury late in the first half of the Steelers’ 24-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and was not able to return.
Roberts was a limited participant in the team’s practice sessions this week, and thought on Tuesday that he would be a game-time decision.
“We’ll take it one day at a time,” Roberts said, but said that he felt an urgency to return quickly after the Steelers struggled in his absence on Sunday.
“It’s December. I’m thinking fast.”
The Steelers allowed 2.0 yards per carry against Cardinals rushers with Roberts on the field and 5.1 yards per carry after he departed.
The Steelers replaced Roberts with Mark Robinson playing alongside Mykal Walker on Sunday, though Blake Martinez is expected to be activated to be the third inside linebacker against the Patriots.
The Steelers did not elevate Myles Jack from the practice squad, which was the first positive sign that Roberts would be able to play.
Those two both came out of retirement earlier this season before joining the Steelers. Martinez first signed with the Carolina Panthers practice squad, where the Steelers plucked him from three weeks ago. Jack was on the Philadelphia Eagles’ retired list before getting his release late last month.
The Steelers have already been without co-starters Kwon Alexander and Cole Holcomb at the position. Alexander (Achilles) and Holcomb (ACL) were lost to season-ending injuries in consecutive weeks in November, thrusting Roberts into a much larger role as the team’s only experienced, veteran linebacker.
Roberts is one of four players listed as questionable for Pittsburgh on Thursday, along with running back Najee Harris (knee), center Mason Cole (neck) and guars Isaac Seumalo (shoulder).