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Steelers Injury Report: Absences from training camp not 'precautionary'

Head coach Mike Tomlin is never going to give the press the whole story when it comes to injuries, but his most recent description of his injured defensive backs left an impression of worse than just day-to-day.

Justin K. Aller

If Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin ever tells you 'You'll be fine', you may want to get a second opinion.

Tomlin ranks toward the top of most unyielding coaches when it comes to information about injured players, but his most recent cryptic prognoses of defensive backs Terry Hawthorne, Cortez Allen and DeMarcus Van Dyke included a little more than his original 'day-to-day' determination.

DeMarcus Van Dyke was carted from the locker room to the field and was witnessed visibly limping leaving his left hamstring injury to seem more like 'days-to-weeks'. Cortez Allen continues to suffer from what Tomlin called 'discomfort' in his knee, although he seems the most likely candidate for the 'day-to-day' label. He is expected to return. Rookie Terry Hawthorne, however, is a different story altogether.

Hawthorne underwent a surgical procedure this off-season to clean up bone chips in his knee. While he was originally expected to be fully healthy by the time training camp rolled around, after taking snaps on Sunday as a punt gunner, Hawthorne was held out of practice Monday.

Tomlin was asked about Hawthorne's condition, as to whether he had suffered a setback or was receiving precautionary rest. Tomlin did not acknowledge a setback, but quickly disregarded the precautionary idea.

"It's not good to give a guy fighting for a job precautionary rest. It was necessary, but hopefully not long-term."

Tomlin continues to list all three of his young defensive backs as 'day-to-day', leaving at least a little hope for all three to return to practice before the team begins its preseason schedule.

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