This might not be a popular argument from those in the black-and-gold community, but after two days of practice, it is looking like the Pittsburgh Steelers may be relying on their backups to get them through their Week 17 game with the Cleveland Browns.
What gives this away? We already knew Antonio Brown has been ruled out for the upcoming regular season finale, but Ben Roethlisberger has been nothing more than a limited participant throughout the first two days of practice. On top of that, players like Maurkice Pouncey, Le’Veon Bell and Cameron Heyward have been given extra days off — likely to suggest they won’t be in the rotation come game time.
The Steelers can’t rest their entire team, but it looks as if Landry Jones, Stevan Ridley, and some backup linemen, on both sides of the ball, will be called into action prior to the playoffs.
Some will argue about “rust” with Roethlisberger and company, but count me as someone who believe it is better to have a player available, rather than get injured in a rather meaningless football game on Sunday at Heinz Field. It wasn’t that long ago we watched Roethlisberger get carted off the field on a stretcher following another rather meaningless game vs. the Browns in 2008.
Keep that in mind while discussing the players who will, or won’t be, eligible this Sunday in Week 17.
In the meantime, check out the full injury reports for both the Browns and Steelers heading into Friday.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Antonio Brown (Calf)
C Maurkice Pouncey (Hip)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Not Injury Related)
RB Le'Veon Bell (Not Injury Related)
DE Cameron Heyward (Not Injury Related)
CB Coty Sensabaugh (Shoulder)
G Ramon Foster (Concussion)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
FB Danny Vitale (Groin)
DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (Knee)
WR Sammie Coates (Shoulder)
RB Isaiah Crowell (Shoulder / Ribs)
RB Matthew Dayes (Knee)
RB Duke Johnson (Shoulder)
DB Derron Smith (Hip)
DB Jamar Taylor (Foot)
DT Caleb Brantley (Neck)
LB Josh Keyes (Wrist)
OL JC Tretter (Knee)