The Pittsburgh Steelers defense will get a significant boost this weekend, as slot cornerback Mike Hilton will make his triumphant return against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday after missing the last four games with a shoulder injury.
Hilton led the Steelers with 27 tackles when he initially suffered the injury in the Week 6 win over Cleveland. He also has three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery on the year.
Pittsburgh will also return defensive end Isaiah Buggs (ankle) who was absent for last week’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He originally aggravated the ankle injury two weeks ago at Dallas.
Both players were full participants for the entire week of practice ahead of Pittsburgh’s trip to Jacksonville.
Running back Anthony McFarland is also set to be available Sunday. He missed the Bengals game and a pair of practices last week with an illness.
The Steelers will be without running backs Jaylen Samuels (quadricep) and Trey Edmunds (hamstring), and linebacker Jayrone Elliot (illness) on Sunday. All three players missed the entire week of practice.
Tight end Vance McDonald and guard Kevin Dotson are also expected to be unavailable Sunday, as they both remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and have not been activated to this point.
As for the Jaguars, rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring) and tight end James O’Shaughnessy (knee) are both listed out for Sunday.
Wide receiver Collin Johnson (hamstring) and cornerback Sidney Jones IV (Achilles) are both listed as questionable.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew II is also questionable after missing the last two weeks with a right thumb injury. He has been limited in practice the last three days.
If Minshew is unable to return, rookie Jake Luton is expected to once again start in his place.