PITTSBURGH — Three Steelers are dealing with physical ailments or have missed practice time as the team completes its preparations for the New England Patriots on Friday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side.
Starting free safety Sean Davis seems to have the most significant issue. Davis suffered an ankle injury in the team’s third preseason game and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. First-year AAF alumnus Kameron Kelly will step in for Davis if he’s unable to play on Sunday.
Mark Barron also missed practice on Thursday after having practiced on earlier in the week. His absence was labeled as a “coach’s decision.” Barron is expected to start at right inside linebacker in his first game with the Steelers. He came to Pittsburgh from the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent this offseason.
Rookie running back Benny Snell was listed as a full participant on Thursday, but was seen favoring his right foot/ankle in the locker room after practice. The status of Snell, who is the third-string running back but has worked on punt and kickoff coverage units, is unknown.
New England had three players that Bill Belichick listed as partial participants for Thursday: tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle), safety Obi Melifonwu (ankle) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring). LaCosse and Thomas could both start. Melifonwu is a reserve.
The Steelers and Patriots must release their full injury report for Sunday’s game by Friday afternoon.