The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at Saint Vincent College, first time since the run test on Day 1, and they were also back to hitting. The team donned full equipment for the first time this training camp, and the injury list has begun to grow.
Not all injuries were due to the physicality of the game, but a certain acclimation process needs to take place for the players to get themselves into game shape.
Let’s take a look of news and notes following the team’s first padded practice...
Plain and simple, there is a long list of injuries to note. Take a look for yourself:
Heat Related Injury
“Soft Tissue” Injury
James Conner (Shoulder)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Ankle)
Sammie Coates (Knee)
Ben Roethlisberger also missed practice, but it was an excused absence by head coach Mike Tomlin. Although most of these injuries are not the long-term, season-threatening variety, you don’t want camp injuries to linger. The players don’t have a scheduled day off until Tuesday, and that day can’t come soon enough for some of the players on the aforementioned list.
After all, training camp is only 3 practices old...still a lot to accomplish.
‘Backs on ‘Backers
Of course Mike Tomlin had his team doing his favorite ‘backs on ‘backers drill to get the pads popping early. For those who may not be familiar with the drills, it is typically a linebacker vs. either a tight end or running back. The drill heavily favors the linebacker, but many offensive players hold their own.
From camp reports, Fitzgerald Toussaint and James Conner both held their own, while Phazahn Odom got tossed around like a rag doll. On the defensive side, it was T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo and Bud Dupree who turned some heads on the defensive side of things.
There will be plenty more where this came from, so if you are at camp...get your popcorn ready!
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A vocal Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley watch the tight ends hit the blocking sled in warmups Sunday before the Steelers' first padded practice pic.twitter.com/rvb0NVBTdt— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) July 30, 2017
A little James Conner action from yesterday’s session. pic.twitter.com/F9W03JsQOn— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 30, 2017
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addresses camp injuries. "Such is life this time of year." pic.twitter.com/AW34bIR3OM— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 30, 2017
Mike Tomlin labels Xavier Grimble the ‘new man’ at lead TE blocker. But David Johnson won’t give up that spot, as Tomlin later points out. pic.twitter.com/CUi8SEjOpP— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 31, 2017