— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 25, 2014
Fingers are kind of important for catching passes. Breaking two of them, like Steelers second-year wide receiver Markus Wheaton did in 2013, is likely problematic.
Those problems appeared to continue into the offseason. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told Fox Sports 1 reporter Alex Marvez and NFL reporter Adam Caplan Wheaton had "minor post-season finger surgery," presumably a second surgery on the finger he broke in Week 4 in a loss to Minnesota.
Whether he broke the same finger twice that has since been surgically repaired twice, or some combination of breaks and surgeries on two fingers, it sounds like it sucks for Wheaton.
He'll likely be the Steelers' replacement for Emmanuel Sanders at the split end position, barring any further complication of the injury or unexpected free agent signing or draft pick. Odds are pretty good the Steelers will add a wide receiver via the draft, but Wheaton would have the upper hand (no pun intended) over a rookie due to the year experience he has.
But the lack of playing time still has to be considered. Wheaton has been, by all accounts, a hard worker and a fighter. He lost the minicamp portion of the offseason due to NFL and NCAA rules prohibiting players from practicing with their respective teams until that school's graduation. The missed time due to broken digits didn't help either.
Still, in an offense that has more momentum heading into a season than any other Steelers offense in quite a while, Wheaton could find himself one of several productive players on the offensive side of the ball.