The Pittsburgh Steelers will see the return of all of the names who have missed playing time with injury as of late this Sunday, but the coaching staff will still not have a full complement of players to pick from in Week 8.
OL Marcus Gilbert, who has been ruled out for Sunday, is the only player on the #Steelers status report.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) October 26, 2018
After missing practice once again on Friday, Marcus Gilbert has been officially ruled out of the game against the Cleveland Browns as he struggles to overcome a knee injury that he has been dealing with for a few weeks now. This is the first time the problem has cost him a game, however, and he will be replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Feiler.
With Gilbert the only name on the final injury report of the week, it would seem that Morgan Burnett, L.J. Fort and Darrius Heyward-Bey should all be available to face Cleveland. Burnett and Fort were able to participate fully in training each day and are clearly happy to be back in action. As Burnett told Teresa Varley of Steelers.com.
“To get through practice, that felt good. That helped me out confidence wise. Confidence and getting back in the flow and rhythm of things, and getting back in live action. That is the biggest. I am just ready to roll. It was good to get in a good week of participation. Getting into a normal routine. A normal work week. The body feels good. It felt good to be out there.”
Missing the game last Sunday might have been the most challenging part of the injury for Fort.
“It felt incredible to be out there at practice this week. That was the first game I ever missed in my life. It was a bit of a challenge to get through. It makes it feel that much better to be out there running around. It was hard missing the game. I was trying my hardest to get back, but there was no way. It’s not fun at all to watch. You know you can contribute, you want to help your team and contribute. Thankfully we got the ‘W’ because that was a huge game. I was helping the guys filling in at my position and on special teams. I was there to help out with any question. I am good now. I am now ready to roll.”
Although Heyward-Bey was limited on Wednesday, his return as a full participant on Thursday and Friday suggests he will not miss his third game in a row. Despite being placed in concussion protocols on Monday, Xavier Grimble appears to have been cleared already and should be on the field on Sunday as well.
Meanwhile, Cleveland have a number of injury concerns to worry about heading into this matchup.