Zach Banner is official out for the Steelers’ Week 2 game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but head coach Mike Tomlin said that the team’s other three injured players will have a chance to work their way back into game form.
Starting right guard David DeCastro, who missed the game with a knee injury but traveled with the team and was not wearing any kind of cast or brace on the sideline, could practice on Wednesday, Tomlin said.
Tomlin also “left the light on” for starting running back James Conner (ankle) and backup guard Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral muscle), both of whom left Monday’s game with injuries and did not return.
Banner, who reportedly tore his ACL on Monday night, will be replaced by Chukwuma Okorafor at right tackle. Tomlin remained steadfast in his praise for Okorafor, whose training camp battle with Banner for the starting spot went down to the final days.
If both DeCastro and Wisniewski cannot play, the starting job at right guard would likely fall to rookie Kevin Dotson, who played in that role on Monday. Tomlin said Dotson is more of a question mark when it comes to his level of readiness.
Benny Snell, who replaced Conner at running back at rushed for over 100 yards, would likely move to the top of the rotation at that position that could also include Jaylen Samuels and rookie Anthony McFarland, Jr.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Has Ankle Bruise, Says He Won’t Miss Playing Time
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson said that he has an ankle bruise and should not miss any playing time after he left the Steelers’ game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in the fourth quarter.
Johnson left the game after competing a crucial first down as the Steelers were looking to seal the game offensively, but after he left, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception, and the Steelers had to sweat out a long Stephen Gostkowski field goal before coming away with the win.
Johnson was crucial to the winning effort, as he scored two touchdowns and led the Steelers with 15 targets, which he turned into nine catches for 80 yards.
He has dealt with several injury issues this season. Johnson suffered a back injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and missed the Steelers’ Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, but was able to return to practice in the week leading up to the Titans game. He has also dealt with a nagging toe issue throughout the 2020 season.
Through five games played, Johnson has 24 catches for 227 and three touchdowns.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Leaves Game vs. Titans in 4th Quarter
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson left his team’s Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans with an injury on Sunday afternoon.
Johnson was injured while picking up a critical first down late in fourth quarter.
He left the game after making nine catches on 15 targets for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson suffered a back injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5 and missed the Steelers’ Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, but was able to return to practice in the week leading up to the Titans game. In his first four games, Johnson had 15 catches for 147 and one touchdown.
He has also dealt with a nagging toe issue throughout the 2020 season.
Steelers ILB Robert Spillane Leaves Game after Big Hit
Inside linebacker Robert Spillane left the Steelers Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans with an injury on Sunday afternoon.
Spillane made a huge hit on a goal line stop against Titans running back Derrick Henry, but left the game, while gesturing toward his left shoulder and collarbone area.
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) October 25, 2020
Second-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III replaced Spillane in the Steelers’ lineup.