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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: David DeCastro Returns; 3 More Suffer ‘Dings’



Starting right guard David DeCastro practiced in pads for the first time, but the Pittsburgh Steelers had three more players suffer injuries on Monday afternoon, head coach Mike Tomlin announced following practice.

DeCastro had missed the previous five practice with an unknown injury before returning.

Offensive tackle Derwin Gray and wide receiver Anthony Johnson both suffered knee injuries, while outside linebacker Bud Dupree dealt with an undisclosed ailment. Tomlin said he believed all three were able to return to the field and finish, and did not seem concerned about any, describing them as “nicks.”

In addition, a number of Steelers were held out Monday with lingering injuries. Defensive tackle Chris Wormley and running back Wendell Smallwood continue to battle shoulder issues, while right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor is considered day-to-day with a groin injury. Backup guard Kevin Dotson was out again and has not practiced since hurting his knee last Tuesday.

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson and safety Terrell Edmunds missed practice again Monday with unknown injuries that Tomlin described on Saturday as also day-to-day.

Running back James Conner and defensive end Stephon Tuitt were both full participants on Monday after being held out of Saturday’s evening practice.

Tomlin said Saturday that the team was holding out a number of players who were involved in COVID-19 procedures. It was later announced the NFL’s testing partner BioReference had a number of results come back as false positives. They announced Monday that all 77 players and staff members in question across the league tested negative.

There was no news from the Steelers on the COVID-19 front Monday, which has been the case since they reinstated running back Jaylen Samuels from the reserve list on Aug. 13.

Long snapper Kam Canaday was also back in action after suffering an injury Saturday.

Lastly, a number of Steelers veteran were give the day off on Monday, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Tomlin said that not only were the off days given for preservation purposes, but also to provide other players expanded chances to prove themselves.

“It provides opportunities for others,” Tomlin said of the scheduled days off. “That’s what we focus on, the younger guys that get an opportunity to ascend within the competition. And get a chance to compete against some more veteran players, and show their metal, in that regard.”

Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: DeCastro, Pouncey Full Participants; Hilton, Watt Still Out



Steelers linemen David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey returned to full participation in the team’s practice on Thursday, which should put them in line to be able to play when the team visits the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

DeCastro, who suffered an abdominal strain in the Steelers’ Week 5 win over the Philadelphia Eagles and missed the team’s Week 6 win over the Cleveland Browns, had been a limited participant on Wednesday. 

Pouncey suffered a foot injury against the Eagles and was able to play most of the game against Cleveland before leaving late. He did not practice on Wednesday.

Nickel cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) and fullback Derek Watt (hamstring strain) both did not practice for the second straight day, putting their availability for Sunday in doubt. 

Hilton was replaced by Cameron Sutton when he was injured against the Browns. Watt suffered his hamstring strain in Week 3 against the Houston Texans and was replaced by Trey Edmunds, who was recalled from the practice squad to play against the Eagles. Watt returned against Cleveland, but re-aggravated his injury.

The Steelers also got JuJu Smith-Schuster back to practice on Thursday. He’s missed several Wednesday practices in a row with a lingering knee injury, but has not missed any playing time because of it.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was limited in practice due to personal reasons. He did not practice on Wednesday with a “not injury related” designation, as is his usual protocol. It does not appear that Roethlisberger’s status for Sunday is in significant doubt, though a full practice on Friday would allay any fears that he may not play.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who was also given Wednesday off, returned to work Thursday.

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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: Hilton, Pouncey, Watt Miss Practice; DeCastro Limited



Injured Steelers Mike Hilton, Maurkice Pouncey and Derek Watt did not practice during the team’s session on Wednesday in preparation to face the undefeated Tennessee Titans, but two players working their way back from injuries did.

Hilton injured his shoulder in the team’s Week 6 win over the Cleveland Browns. Pouncey has left two straight games early with a foot issue. Watt missed the Steelers’ Week 5 win over the Philadelphia Eagles with a hamstring strain that was re-injured in his return against the Browns.

Cameron Sutton would be next in line to replace Hilton as the Steelers’ Nickel cornerback. Pouncey has been replaced by J.C. Hassenauer. Running back Trey Edmunds was promoted from the practice squad to replace Watt at fullback and on special teams when he missed the game against the Eagles.

Guard David DeCastro (abdominal strain) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (back) both practiced after missing the Browns game. DeCastro was limited, while Johnson was a full participant.

Rookie guard Kevin Dotson has impressed while replacing DeCastro. Deon Cain was activated from the practice squad against Cleveland to replace Johnson.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster also did not practice on Wednesday with a knee issue. He has repeatedly missed early week practices this season due to his knee, but it has not caused him to miss any game time.

The Steelers were also without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who were given the day off.

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Steelers Injury Updates

Steelers Injury Updates: Devin Bush to Have ACL Surgery Wednesday



Steelers linebacker Devin Bush will have surgery to repair his ACL on Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday.

Bush was injured in the second quarter of the Steelers’ Week 6 win over the Cleveland Browns and will miss the remainder of the season. Tomlin did not have a further prognosis on the timeframe that it will take Bush to return from the surgery. Typical ACL surgeries require at least six months of recovery.

Tomlin said that at least for this week’s game against the Tennessee Titans that Bush will largely be replaced by second-year backup Robert Spillane.

The Steelers have two players that will be questionable against the Titans, according to Tomlin: fullback Derek Watt, who re-aggravated his hamstring injury against the Browns, and slot cornerback Mike Hilton, who suffered a shoulder injury.

Additionally, David DeCastro (abdominal strain) and Diontae Johnson (back) are expected to practice this week after missing the game.

Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral strain) is continuing his work in returning from the injured reserve list.

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