While it had always been expected that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be missing some notable names at practice on Wednesday, it was still something of a surprise to see seven players sitting out the team’s first training session of the week. Thankfully, three of those names were excused for reasons unrelated to their health and there was some good news in the return to practice of a player who has missed the last two games.
Stephon Tuitt was finally able to resume training on Wednesday, albeit in a limited capacity, and sounded like a man who was optimistic he could be playing on Sunday when talking to reporters after practice, as reported by Teresa Varley of Steelers.com.
“It felt great to be out there, it’s always great to be back out there with your boys. We had already tested the arm out. It was great. I did a great job in the weight room, making sure I stayed in shape, stayed strong. I am ready to get out there and rock and roll again.”
As Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey enjoyed a veteran rest day, B.J. Finney was seemingly also given permission to sit out practice for personal reasons and the main concerns for Week 13 will center around the four players sidelined because of injury.
Marcus Gilbert continues to struggle with a knee injury and will be in danger of missing his sixth game in a row against the Los Angeles Chargers. While Bud Dupree (pectoral) and Vance McDonald (hip) were among the injured players highlighted by Mike Tomlin the day before, the appearance of Morgan Burnett (back) on the injury report was unexpected. Their progress over the next few days will be a clear sign of their availability for Sunday.
Xavier Grimble’s inclusion as a full participant was rather surprising given he was only placed in concussion protocols the day before and there is good reason to believe he will be able to play against the Chargers.