The frustration over the timing of rookie offensive guard Nik Embernate's knee injury has to be eating away over the Steelers' coaching staff.
A day after getting fans excited about the idea of precautionary steps being taken to protect the lower limbs of the vital offensive line, Embernate gets rolled on during contact drills, and was carted off the field in what Steelers coach Mike Tomlin referred to be a potentially significant injury.
Embernate, one of the more newsworthy undrafted rookie free agents in this camp, was thought to be yet another great find by the Steelers' scouting department - and maybe even a small log to be thrown on the fire of bumping the round maximum of the draft up a few.
Assuming the worst, Embernate tore ligaments in his knee, and will be lost for the season (that is not an official confirmation). If he was healthy, there seemed to be plenty of reason to think he could have made this team, and maybe even seen playing time at various points. If he made it through his rookie season with momentum heading into 2014, it's not out of the question he's competing for a starting spot this time next year.
As it is, he is yet another Steelers offensive lineman who possibly suffered a "significant injury."
Less than significant in terms of ailment but seemingly important based on discussion is LaMarr Woodley's "calf strain," that kept him out of practice Thursday. Woodley's a bit closer to the veteran age when Tomlin gives a player a practice off, but maybe it's more due to wanting to give rookie Jarvis Jones as well as embattled starter Jason Worilds some reps together in order to test the depth of their outside linebackers.
It's a long camp, and making much about Woodley's lack of participation isn't really worth it.
DeMarcus Van Dyke's hamstring injury appears to be enough of a concern where his future roster position is in severe doubt. Curtis Brown played in place of Cortez Allen, who missed another practice with a sore knee. William Gay remained in the slot while Brown - another fringe roster player - handled duties on the outside.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers Training Camp Updates
- The Steelers Prodigal Son
- Embernate suffers major knee injury
- Steelers claim healthy defensive back off waivers for training camp
- Jets coach Rex Ryan considers Steelers coach Mike Tomlin one of his biggest rivals
- Steelers Day 6 training camp practice open thread
- Steelers GM Colbert says the offensive line's youth is a 'double-edged' sword
- Steelers LaMarr Woodley eager to get more pass rush opportunities
- An effective running game and how it translates to recent Super Bowl success
- Brace yourself: Mike Tomlin drawing 'fine line' between creating an edge and giving his players confidence
- Steelers Training Camp Recap: Live Wednesday from Latrobe for Day 5
- Shamarko Thomas looks to rebound from bite on play fake