PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are completely healthy when it comes to the 53 players on the active roster, head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday.
Tomlin said that he expects all 53 to participate in the team’s first formal practice session of the work week on Wednesday, after largely excellent participation during a bonus day on Monday.
Three players that will not be participating are the three that the Steelers placed on injured reserve late last week: tackle Zach Banner, running back Anthony McFarland and defensive end Stephon Tuitt.
Tomlin was extremely vague in updating the status of all three players. With regards to Banner, he would not say whether the tackle had a setback in his rehab from ACL surgery, or even whether the absence will be a short-term one or long-term one.
“That remains to be seen,” Tomlin said. “We’ll play it by ear. I know that he’s working extremely hard day-to-day to get back to us. He sustained a significant injury. Different guys come back at different rates, and that’s one of the points that we stressed to him.”
Banner was worked slowly back into the rotation before playing in the team’s third preseason game against the Detroit Lions. After that Banner, has not been a full participant in the individual portions of workouts.
Tomlin didn’t even give that much of an update on Tuitt, who has a knee injury, and McFarland, whose injury has not yet been disclosed.
“To be honest with you, I hadn’t asked a lot of question and that’s why I’m being somewhat vague about the guys that have been placed on IR,” Tomlin said. “I focus my energy on the guys that are going to be in a helmet in the stadium this weekend.”
Tuitt had been working individually after getting a late start to preseason drills following the death of his brother, but stopped participating even individually during training camp and has not since.
McFarland did not travel with the team to Carolina for the preseason finale and has yet to return.
All three players must miss at least three weeks while on the injured reserve list. There is no maximum to the number of players that can be re-activated from the IR.