Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not rule out returns for any of the five players that either missed or left his team’s Week 5 win over the Philadelphia Eagles with injuries during his weekly press conference on Tuesday in advance of Sunday’s AFC North opener against the Cleveland Browns.
Tomlin said that center Maurkice Pouncey should be able to play against the Browns, but will be limited in practice this week with a foot injury suffered late against the Eagles.
Meanwhile, guard David DeCastro (abdominal strain) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (back) who left early against Philadelphia, will have their ability to play this week determined by their practice work.
“Their availability this week will be determined by the quality of practice and their practice availability, specifically,” Tomlin said.
He also said that fullback Derek Watt (hamstring) and linebacker/safety Marcus Allen (plantar fasciitis) will be able to practice this week and could be able to return after missing the game against the Eagles.
Pouncey was replaced late in the game by first-year center J.C. Hassenauer, who played his first career snaps on offense. Rookie guard Kevin Dotson once again filled in for DeCastro, as he did in Weeks 1 and 2.
With Johnson sidelined, rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool and return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud saw greater roles in the Steelers’ offense.
Running back Trey Edwards was promoted from the practice squad to take the place of Watt and second-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III was dressed for the first time this season to replace Allen.