PITTSBURGH — With the Pittsburgh Steelers playing on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts, the first injury report of the week won’t come out until Thursday. However, there were two notable takeaways from Wednesday’s practice in regards to injuries, according to Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh.
Right guard James Daniels was in sweats not participating in individual drills, while center Mason Cole still had his boot on in individuals. It’s unclear why Daniels was in sweats, as he didn’t have a reported injury prior. Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday press conference that Cole may be limited early in the week but has a decent level of confidence he will be available on Monday night.
Cole left after halftime of Sunday’s 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and was replaced by J.C. Hassenauer. It’s expected that Hassenauer will get the nod to start if Cole can’t go on Monday night.
“That’s kind of the hardest role of being a backup, is being able to come in and being able to keep that gel regardless of who goes down,” Hassenauer told Steelers Now in the locker room following the Bengals loss. “Just with the cohesion of technique and understanding how other people might see things. Because, you know, during the week we can only get so many reps. The starters are going to take the majority of those, so, for a backup, you gotta really know how the other guys play, how the other guys see things.”
Hassenauer will look to make the most of the opportunity if he has to start against Indianapolis.
“For me, it’s a huge blessing,” Hassenauer said. “I kind of use it as an opportunity to show my skill set, try to develop, try to learn the game better. I feel like each play, each drive, I was able to kind of get that gel better with the current line.”
The Steelers will need Cole and Daniels available, as the Colts are stout upfront. Indianapolis surrenders just 3.8 yards per carry, which is the second-fewest in the league. They can also get after the quarterback, ranking 13th in sacks with 28. Yannick Ngakoue leads the Colts with 6.5 sacks and has four tackles for loss. DeForest Buckner will also be a handful, as he ranks second on the team with 5.5 sacks and five tackles for loss. Kwity Paye and Grover Stewart have also recorded a combined seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss.