PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are relatively healthy entering their final preseason game on Thursday, with only a handful of players that missed the second preseason game with injury.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he is “leaving the light on” for those players to suit up when the preseason wraps in Atlanta on Thursday night. He did not rule any players out of the game.
Defensive tackle Keeanu Benton and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski dressed but did not play against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, while guard Nate Herbig, safety Tre Norwood and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi did not dress.
Tomlin said that a decision on those players won’t be made until the “11th hour,” but specifically named Herbig, Norwood and Ogunjobi as Steelers players dealing with injury that could see the field this Thursday night.
“Leaving the light on for some of those guys that have been partial or limited participants in practice like Larry Ogunjobi, Tre Norwood and Nate Herbig,” Tomlin said. “We’ll make decisions about their availability at the 11th hour.”
Benton suffered a left ankle injury in the preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and appears to be largely back to full health, though he was held out fo the game against the Bills. Kwiatkoski was also hurt in the same game, suffered a right shoulder injury. He also seems ready to participate on Thursday.
Herbig has been dealing with a shoulder injury since going down in practice on Aug. 13. He did not practice on Monday, and would likely need to practice on Tuesday in order to suit up Thursday night. Herbig’s return would give the Steelers a chance to get a look at him playing center, something he did not do in the first preseason game. Second-team center Kendrick Green has had repeated issues snapping the ball, and Tomlin called his performance against the Bills “not good enough.”
Ogunjobi has an undisclosed foot/ankle injury that cropped up right before the first preseason game and had him in a walking boot for the final week of training camp. He said on Monday that he intends to play this week. Ogunjobi’s starting role on the defense is secure, so it’s unlikely the Steelers will push for him to play if he is less than 100%.
Norwood has been battling a right calf injury, and has been a limited participant at practice for some time now. Norwood is battling Kenny Robinson and Miles Killebrew to be the team’s fourth safety, but his lack of availability over the second half of training camp has made it difficult to evaluate him in comparison to his peers.
The Steelers and Falcons will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
STEELERS INJURY REPORT
|G Nate Herbig||Shoulder||Aug. 13||Day-to-Day||Active, questionable|
|ILB Nick Kwiatkoski||Right shoulder||Aug. 11||Undisclosed||Active, probable|
|NT Keeanu Benton||Left ankle||Aug. 11||Day to day||Active, probable|
|DT Larry Ogunjobi||Right foot/ankle||Aug. 9||Day-to-Day||Active, questionable|
|DB Tre Norwood||Right calf||Aug. 6||Day-to-Day||Active, probable|
|CB Joey Porter Jr.||Left ankle||Aug. 5||Day to day||Active, will play|
|WR Cody White||Undisclosed||Aug. 19||Undisclosed||Injured reserve|
|WR Hakeem Butler||Undisclosed||Aug. 19||Undisclosed||Injured reserve|
|LB Chapelle Russell II||Knee||Aug. 11||Undisclosed||Injured reserve|
|CB Cory Trice||Right knee||Aug. 1||Out for season||Injured reserve|
|RB Alfonzo Graham||Torn right labrum||July 29||Out for season||Injured reserve|
|DT Renell Wren||Torn right Achilles tendon||May 17||Out for season||Injured reserve|