The Steelers will be without a number of players during the early portion of the week, but head coach Mike Tomlin did not rule anyone out entirely for this Sunday’s visit to the Baltimore Ravens.
Defensive lineman Chris Wormley seems to have the most significant ailment. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee to evaluate the injury he suffered against the Tennessee Titans.
Safety Jordan Dangerfield injured his quad against the Titans and Tomlin expects him to be limited in practice during the early part of the week.
Both Steelers that missed the trip to Tennessee are scheduled to return to practice this week, as fullback Derek Watt (hamstring strain) and Nickel cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) are both expected to get back to work.
Linebacker Robert Spillane (shoulder) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (ankle bruise) are both expected to be able to play this week, though it sounds as if a number of Steelers players may not participate in the early week tune-up sessions.
“Bumps and bruises along the way may limit a guy or two along the way, a Wednesday practice, but we don’t worry too much about that,” Tomlin said. “We’re excited about some of the younger guys getting a chance to work.”
Running back Trey Edmunds was elevated from the practice squad place of Watt for special teams and defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux played fullback in heavy offensive sets. Cam Sutton filled in for a season-high snap count, with Justin Layne replacing Sutton in the Dime package.
Mondeaux also helped replace Wormley on the defensive line while he left with injury and if Wormley is unable to dress on Sunday, Isaiah Buggs would likely work back into the rotation.
Dangerfield is another important special teams contributor and Edmunds could once again be called upon to replace him if he’s out and Watt returns.
Steelers Injury Updates: Extra Practice Bonus for Joe Haden, Who Was Limited Wednesday
Steelers cornerback Joe Haden was limited in practice on Wednesday, which would usually lead to a questionable designation or worse for a game scheduled to be played the next day.
But with the team’s game against the Baltimore Ravens pushed back to Sunday by the NFL, Haden will have some more time to get himself game ready.
Haden injured his right during the Steelers win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but eventually returned to the game. Head coach Mike Tomlin classified his injury among those with “bumps and bruises” but acknowledged that the short week could cause issues for Haden and other players in his situation.
Now with three extra days to prepare, Haden’s outlook for this week’s game seems a lot rosier. If he’s unable to play, second-year backup Justin Layne would be the most likely candidate to replace him.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was also injured against the Jaguars, was a full participant in practice on Wednesday after being limited by his foot issue on Tuesday.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (quad) and defensive lineman Cam Heyward (ankle) were also each elevated to full practice status.
Still out for the Steelers are running backs Trey Edmunds (hamstring) and Jaylen Samuels (quadricep), who missed practice for the second straight day. They remain doubtful for Sunday’s game, though the extra time will give them an additional chance to return to practice.
Steelers Injury Updates: CB Joe Haden Didn’t Practice, Putting Status for Thursday in Doubt
Cornerback Joe Haden did not practice on Tuesday as the Steelers got back to the practice fields at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex in preparation for their Thursday night date with the Baltimore Ravens, one of three injured Steelers unable to suit up, with several more limited.
Haden injured his right knee in the Steelers’ Week 11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He returned to the game after the injury, but Mike Tomlin listed him among the players coming out of that one with “bumps and bruises” that were significant enough to potentially cause an availability issue with a short week of practice.
Haden will likely have to be a full participant on Wednesday in order to suit up Thursday night. He was replaced in the base defense against the Jaguars by second-year cornerback Justin Layne.
Also not able to practice for the Steelers on Tuesday were injured running backs Trey Edmunds (hamstring) and Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps). They appear to be on track to miss their second consecutive game.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was also banged up against Jacksonville, was a limited participant on Tuesday with a foot issue caused when he stepped on a penalty flag late in the fourth quarter of the game.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (quad) and defensive tackle Cam Heyward (ankle) were also added to the injury list for Tuesday as limited participants. Their availability for Thursday does not appear to be in question.
Linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who missed the Jacksonville game with an illness, was able to fully participate in practice. Center Maurkice Pouncey and guard David DeCastro were given the day off.
Steelers Say Joe Haden, JuJu Smith-Schuster Wouldn’t Have Practiced Monday in Estimated Report
The Steelers did not practice on Monday, but with a game just three days away, they’re still required by NFL rules to put out a practice report, so the team released an estimated practice report Monday evening.
If the team had practiced, it would have been a fairly poorly attended affair.
Wide receiver JuJu-Smith Schuster, who hurt his foot stepping on a penalty flag on Sunday and did not return, and cornerback Joe Haden, who did return to play after tweaking his right knee, would also have been had out.
Tight end Zach Gentry (left knee sprain), who has already been ruled out of Thursday’s game and is expected to be placed on injured reserve after suffering an injury in the first quarter on Sunday, obviously would not have practiced.
The Steelers also estimated that running backs Trey Edmunds (hamstring) and Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) and linebacker Jayrone Elliott (illness), who all missed Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, would not have returned to work Monday.
For good measure, nine Steelers were given “non-injury related” days offs, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro, tackle Alejandro Villanueva, tight end Eric Ebron, defensive end Stephon Tuitt, defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, defensive lineman Cam Heyward and linebacker Vince Williams.
Hopefully, they’ll be well-rested on Tuesday after their estimated break.