As the Pittsburgh Steelers enter the final third of their season, it is perhaps no surprise to note that the injuries are starting to mount for a team that had been rather lucky in that regard until recently. Bud Dupree, Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble are the latest names to be added to the injury report and all are expected to be limited as the team prepares for their matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers.
When detailing these injuries during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Mike Tomlin would announce that Grimble had been placed in concussion protocols and also share some more encouraging news about the status of Stephon Tuitt.
“On the injury front, Vance McDonald has a hip that will limit him at early portion of the week. We’ll let his participation be our guide. Xavier Grimble is in the concussion protocol. Bud Dupree has a pec injury that his participation will be our guide in terms of his availability. Some other bumps and bruises. We anticipate Stephon Tuitt working tomorrow, at least in some capacity and letting that be our guide in terms of his march back, and the same with Gilbert.”
#LIVE: Coach Tomlin recaps Week 12, and previews our Week 13 matchup vs. the Chargers. https://t.co/mL60KVOc4J— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 27, 2018
Hopefully, Tuitt will not be too limited in practice and his hyper-extended elbow looked to be in fairly good shape earlier in the day when he posted a video of him celebrating his return to training with teammates.
With Matt Feiler also struggling with a pec injury that kept him out of the game on Sunday, Gilbert would be a welcome sight at practice this week. Should Dupree been forced to miss any extended time, Ola Adeniyi is sure to see some more reps in training and may even suit up against the Chargers if Dupree cannot play.
Ultimately, the real injury concerns for Week 13 could end up being the tight end group if neither McDonald or Grimble are medically cleared in time to face Los Angeles. While Jesse James is more than capable of being the starter and Roosevelt Nix is a viable option as his backup, the coaching staff may yet be forced to consider promoting Bucky Hodges from the practice squad.