As the Pittsburgh Steelers took the practice fields at Saint Vincent College on Thursday, they did so without several players who have already missed significant time. Before the day was over, another player suffered another 'significant' injury.
Nik Embernate of San Diego State had been having a pretty decent camp for an undrafted rookie offensive lineman. The Steelers were hoping they could take his aggressive approach and refine him into a future active roster member on the interior. Now, his chances just absorbed a vicious blow.
Several outlets are reporting Embernate suffered a 'serious' knee injury during Thursday's fully padded practice. Serious knee injuries seem to be contagious in Latrobe, Pa, as fellow rookie Nicholas Williams suffered one of his own yesterday, and few can forget the 'serious' nature of David DeCastro or Sean Spence's injuries during last year's pre-season.
Embernate will be evaluated further, but at the moment things aren't looking promising. No word on Williams recovery timetable yet, either.
Others suffering discomforts on Thursday were Jason Worilds with a toe issue, and LaMarr Woodley is dealing with another calf issue. Soreness will subside, but the timing couldn't be worse for Woodley who recently went on record of wanting his pass-rushing role increased despite his propensity for missing time due to injury.
Worilds, who has been preparing to start on the right side of the defensive front, was asked to play on the left side to spell Woodley, while rookie Jarvis Jones took over the right side.
DeMarcus Van Dyke continues to not look promising. Cortez Allen continues to miss time to knee discomfort, and Terry Hawthorne is still a question mark. David Johnson remains out until after the first preseason game, most likely. Heath Miller and Alameda Ta'amu remain on the team's PUP list.
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