Throughout the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 12, something was missing. As Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant added touchdowns, there just wasn’t the same excitement. It wasn’t that the scores weren’t big for the team, but the maestro of the touchdown celebrations was standing on the sideline.
This isn’t to suggest JuJu Smith-Schuster was missed solely for his role in the team’s touchdown celebrations, but the absence of his production and consistency also left a large void in Pittsburgh’s wide receiving corps.
As Mike Tomlin met with the media on Tuesday for his weekly press conference, he spoke about the team’s injuries heading into the Week-13 Monday Night Football game vs. the Bengals.
Tomlin spoke about two players, Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald (ankle), who missed the Packers game, and he was hopeful they could possibly return for the big AFC North game on Monday night.
Tomlin said JuJu and McDonald have chance to play Monday vs. Bengals— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) November 28, 2017
Other than Smith-Schuster and McDonald, the only players mentioned for other injuries were Mike Mitchell and Ryan Shazier, each of whom is dealing with an ankle injury after the latest victory.
Tomlin: Shazier, Mitchell may be limited early in week with ankle injuries but should practice fully later in the week— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) November 28, 2017
With both being veterans, they can afford to miss an early-week practice and still be good-to-go before the trip to Cincinnati.
Other than those two injuries, the only major injury the team is still dealing with would be the broken fibula of Joe Haden. Tomlin ruled Haden out for the third week in a row.
Coach Tomlin said no Joe Haden this week. “No real clarity” in terms of when he will return.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) November 28, 2017
Haden continues to make strides to return, but realistically, that’s likely still a few weeks away.
Wednesday is the first official, reported practice for the Steelers. Stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest on the injury front and other news surrounding the Black-and-gold heading into Week 13.