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Steelers Injury Report: Team depth takes a hit with potential injuries to backup players

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Carolina Panthers, and the hope is they didn't lose some key depth players throughout the process.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 preseason is finally over after their 18-6 loss to the Carolina Panthers. However, there is a chance it came at a cost with some key injuries to depth players on the team's roster.

Outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo left the game with a foot injury and was ruled out of the contest. Defensive lineman Ricardo Mathews was also ruled out with a neck injury, and rookie linebacker Travis Feeney was diagnosed with a concussion and has entered the NFL's concussion protocol.

After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the injuries to Chickillo and Mathews, not even mentioning them when discussing injuries; however, just because Tomlin doesn't mention, or downplays, an injury doesn't mean it isn't something to keep an eye on.

The fact of the matter is both of these players, Chickillo and Mathews, could be called upon for regular duty due to injuries to players above them on the depth chart. With Cameron Heyward's status for Week 1 in the air with a high ankle sprain, Mathews would be the next man up to fill in along side Stephon Tuitt.

The same can be said about Chickillo with Bud Dupree's groin injury keeping him off the field for the majority of the preseason, and Arthur Moats being the starter if Dupree is out of the lineup. Chickillo would be the primary backup at left outside linebacker if Dupree isn't in the lineup, and a foot injury certainly could hinder a pass rusher's ability to do his job on the field.

The Steelers will now prepare for the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football in Week 1. Mike Tomlin will meet with the media this week to preview the game and give updates on injuries.