Steelers guard David DeCastro returned to practice on Wednesday, but eight of his teammates did not, with at least one new injury amongst them.
DeCastro, who had been out since suffering a knee injury in a scrimmage in the second week of the Steelers training camp, was a full participant in practice on Wednesday in his first practice back to work.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster did not practice with a knee injury. Smith-Schuster was not named among the players expected to be limited participants this week by head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday.
It’s the second straight Wednesday that Smith-Schuster has missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee ailment. He was a full participant for the rest of the week last week and played against the Denver Broncos without an apparent issue.
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson (toe) and defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (knee contusion) were expected absences on Wednesday, while linebacker Bud Dupree (shoulder discomfort) practiced on Wednesday despite Tomlin warning that he might be limited this week. All are expected to play on Sunday.
Four more players — quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward — also did not practice. Their reason for missing practice listed by the team was “not injury related.”
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.