The Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as the rest of the NFL, can finally put the meaningless preseason in the rear view mirror, and start focusing on the regular season. For the Steelers, that means a Week 1 trip to Cleveland to play their AFC North foes, the Browns.
When Mike Tomlin took to the podium Tuesday for his weekly press conference, he touched on injuries, as he usually does at the beginning of those press conferences. For the first time in a long time, Tomlin didn’t have much to say, and that is a very good thing.
Pittsburgh managed to get through the preseason largely unscathed, and Tomlin stated he felt “really good” about the team’s health heading into the regular season. Not that there aren’t injuries of note, primarily the hamstring injuries to Mike Mitchell and Steven Johnson, but Tomlin stated both of those could be labeled as ‘questionable’ as of now (Tuesday).
It is a day-to-day process throughout the regular season, and the team’s first reported practice, in regards to the injury report, won’t be until Wednesday. It is then where you can easily predict who will, and likely won’t, be in the lineup on any given Sunday. For Pittsburgh, keep an eye on Mike Mitchell’s status. If he practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the odds are good he is at worst a game-time decision. However, if he regresses, practices Wednesday and Thursday but misses Friday, there is a strong chance he won’t be in the lineup when the team heads to Cleveland.
The only other injury-related news to come during the press conference was how the injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster limited the team’s ability to get him repetitions, and evaluate, him as a kick return candidate. As the Steelers released their first depth chart of the season, Smith-Schuster is the No. 1 kick returner on the roster.
Nonetheless, as Tomlin brushed over the injuries with ease, the old adage, “No news is good news” certainly applies in regards to the Steelers’ injury report.