Steelers defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs did not practice on Thursday with an ankle injury, a downgrade from his limited participation on Wednesday that puts his availability for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys in significant doubt.
It’s not clear when Buggs was first injured. He finished the Steelers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday without apparent issue and was not among the injuries highlighted by head coach Mike Tomlin on Sunday or on Tuesday when he spoke with the media.
Buggs was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday, but was did not practice on Thursday.
Fellow defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, who is expected to miss multiple weeks with an MCL strain, also did not practice, meaning the Steelers are down to their fourth-string nose tackle.
Backup Chris Wormley was placed on the injured reserve list with a knee injury in advance of the Ravens game, which elevated Buggs, who can play either line spot, to the backup nose tackle. Henry Mondeaux dressed in Buggs’ spot as a backup defensive end.
Without Alualu, Buggs and Wormley, the Steelers would be looking at having someone play out of positions so that Mondeaux could start or seventh-round rookie Carlos Davis making his first NFL appearance in the starting lineup at nose tackle.
Starting defensive end Cam Heyward was a full participant for a second straight day after injuring his quad at Baltimore. The only other defensive lineman the Steelers have as an option to play this week is practice squad defensive end Calvin Taylor.
Buggs’ status was the only significant change on the Steelers’ injury report for Thursday. Cornerback Mike Hilton remains limited with his shoulder injury. Center Maurkice Pouncey and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to work after being given Wednesday off. Safety Jordan Dangerfield (quad) continues to be a full participant after missing the Ravens game.