The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver race is already intense, and it got even more competitive with the news of Sammie Coates being activated off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.
Steelers WR Sammie Coates has been activated from the PUP list. He will practice this afternoon.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 16, 2017
Coates, the third year pro out of Auburn, was slated to make a big move for a roster spot before having to have his knee scoped prior to the players reporting to training camp. There were thoughts he would miss all of camp, but he has returned with two practices remaining.
So, has anything changed with the wide receiver race in Coates’ absence? Absolutely.
Martavis Bryant has been reinstated, Justin Hunter has proven to be a lot more than just a camp body and Cobi Hamilton is picking up where his nickname “combat catch” left off in 2016.
Coates will certainly have an uphill climb to make the roster, especially after missing so much time this preseason, but if he can get acclimated quick enough, he could play this Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons come to Heinz Field, something which would really help his case for making the team, and not finding himself on the wrong end of a trade or unemployed when Week 1 rolls around.
Either way, no one can watch Coates’ tape from early last season and not see the massive amount of potential he has, but with Antonio Brown and Bryant on the field, you have to wonder how much playing time he would receive, even if he makes the team. A lot can change in a preseason, and Coates will have to try and put his stamp on a roster spot with the remaining time left this preseason.