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Three Steelers Absent from First Day of Minicamp



Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

PITTSBURGH —- Three Pittsburgh Steelers were absent for the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp, but head coach Mike Tomlin said that all three were excused absences.

Outside linebacker T.J. Watt, reserve offensive lineman Ryan McCollum and punter Pressley Harvin III were at the only three absences for the team on the first day of minicamp.

“Everyone was here that I anticipated being here,” Tomlin said. “I gave a couple of guys an excused absence for a variety of reasons. T.J. wasn’t here. Ryan McCollum wasn’t here. I’m sure you guys missed T.J. I’m sure none of you missed Ryan McCollum.”

Watt’s status on the team is obviously unquestioned. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year also missed one practice early in the team’s three-week organized team activity session that proceeded minicamp, but was largely a participant in those optional practices.

Markus Golden is the team’s No. 3 outside linebacker behind Watt and fellow starter Alex Highsmith, who is participating in practice despite seeking a contract extension with the team.

Harvin is facing a challenge for his hegemony on the team’s punter spot this offseason after the Steelers claimed Braden Mann off waivers from the New York Jets. Mann was the only punter working at practice on Tuesday.

McCollum is a reserve offensive lineman entering his second season on the team after spending all of 2022 on the practice squad. Without McCollum, the team had 14 offensive linemen participating in drills.

The Steelers had 89 players in attendance on Tuesday, with the three absences from the 90-man off-season roster, and two tryouts in veteran inside linebackers Jermaine Carter Jr. and Nick Kwiatkoski.