PITTSBURGH — Steelers wide receiver George Pickens missed practice on Wednesday with a surprise shin injury, but he returned to practice on Thursday in what should be a good sign for his availability against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Tomlin did not mention the injury during his Tuesday press conference while detailing injuries and was in the associated bumps and bruises part of the report.
Generally, concern for injuries does not rise until the player misses at least two practices and Pickens did not. While George Pickens did nothing too intensive at practice, the designation of a shin injury could mean multiple things, but regardless, he appears healthy and okay to play on Sunday. Pittsburgh is going through changes this week after the Steelers fired Matt Canada and Pickens’ role in the offense should emerge in a different light with Canada out.
While Diontae Johnson has garnered attention and received many targets, he has become frustrated with the team and the offense. At some point, things needed to change, and they have, but the players have to be healthy for Pittsburgh to maximize their gameplan with new offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner and play-caller Mike Sullivan.
Players are optimistic that significant changes will come about with Faulkner at the helm. His energy is infectious and something the team will latch onto as they work on the transition. Nothing will be perfect, but even small tweaks could help the team move forward.
“I was shocked just like everybody else when I found out,” receiver Miles Boykin said. “Coach Faulk has been great so far. He’s brought leadership to the offense and is making sure we’re on the same page. I think everyone can appreciate that.”
Now, as Pittsburgh focuses on putting their head down and improving, they need their players to remain healthy and improve over the last few weeks of the season as they try to finish off a playoff push. Pickens seems likely to be an integral part of the passing game