The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the biggest game of the 2018 regular season when the New England Patriots come to Heinz Field in Week 15, but you wouldn’t know this by listening to Mike Tomlin’s press conference Tuesday.
While the majority of the discussion surrounded things like Chris Boswell and the team’s kicking situation, timeouts used or the difficulty in playing in Oakland, some actual nuggets of information can be gleaned from the presser which have some significance for the team’s upcoming game.
On the injury front, Tomlin announced the injury which kept Ben Roethlisberger in the locker room after halftime and during the majority of the second half was bruised ribs.
Coach Tomlin said Ben Roethlisberger has several rib contusions.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) December 11, 2018
That no fractures or breaks are involved is a good thing for the team moving forward, but Tomlin also mentioned the dated equipment in the Oakland Coliseum which delayed the process of diagnosing of Roethlisberger's injury. Due to this delay, Ben remained off of the field longer than otherwise would have been the case.
Tomlin did have some good news besides the no-fracture report on Roethlisberger’s ribs. That news involves James Conner’s ankle injury.
Coach Tomlin: James Conner (ankle) had a really impressive week last week. We'll see his availability through the course of the week and let it be the guide.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) December 11, 2018
The fact that Conner is even being considered for this game is huge, but this also might be a bit of gamesmanship, since the Patriots don’t know who will be available when they travel to Pittsburgh.
Obviously, his practice participation will dictate whether Conner is actually going to be available, or if that's simply wishful thinking.
Coach Tomlin said Ben Roethlisberger (rib contusions) should be good to go for Sunday and did NOT rule out James Conner (ankle) for Sunday vs. the Patriots.— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) December 11, 2018
Later in the press conference, Tomlin was asked about right tackle Marcus Gilbert, and Tomlin had no update on the knee injury which has sidelined Gilbert since the team’s Week 7 bye. Tomlin did say he knows Gilbert was working out at the time of the press conference, but didn’t have any update on his status.
Stay tuned to BTSC for all your Black-and-gold news and notes as the Steelers prepare for the Patriots in Week 15.