While the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly didn’t have a ton of question marks coming into this game, from an injury standpoint, there were several key injuries which could be deemed as game-time decisions.
First, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was nursing a hamstring injury this week, but according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he is ready to go vs. the Patriots in Week 15.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, questionable with hamstring injury, is expected to play Sunday vs. Patriots, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2017
While the news on Smith-Schuster is good to hear, from both a receiving and kick returner standpoint, the news on Joe Haden, who returned to practice this week after fracturing his fibula, wasn’t as good.
According to CBS Sports insider Jason La Confora, Haden is expected to make his return next week vs. the Houston Texans, and is unlikely to play at Heinz Field Sunday.
While Joe Haden is officially 50-50 to play it's more likely he returns next week. JuJu is questionable, too, but expected to play— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 17, 2017
If Haden cannot play, it will be key for Coty Sensabaugh, nursing a shoulder injury, to be available, even as a reserve player, to give the Steelers some depth behind Cameron Sutton, who would be getting his first career start by facing Tom Brady and company.
As for the Patriots, who listed 11 players as questionable, La Confora had this to say about some key players on the New England side of the ledger.
Sounds like Van Noy facing uphill climb to play tomorrow but Pats feeling good about Flower and Hogan, also listed as questionable— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 17, 2017
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on these injuries, and other news, as the Steelers prepare for their biggest game of the season vs. the Patriots.
The Patriots will be without two defenders vs. the Steelers, per reports.
Patriots downgraded LB Kyle Van Noy and DB Brandon King to out for Sunday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 17, 2017