The Pittsburgh Steelers were back at it again in full pads on Sunday and, after several consecutive days of intense practice, the injuries are starting to mount.
Before Sunday’s practice Morgan Burnett (hamstring) and Ramon Foster (hyper-extended knee) dominated the injury headlines. However, during Sunday’s practice, the injury bug continued to work its way through the squad.
Here’s a quick rundown on the injuries sustained during Sunday’s practice, and announced by head coach Mike Tomlin:
A few Steelers injuries off Saturday practice:— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) July 29, 2018
*JuJu Smith-Schuster (undisclosed, was seen catching passes after practice and looked fine)
*T.J. Watt (hamstring tightness)
*Sean Davis (groin)
*Vance McDonald (foot)
Coach Mike Tomlin does not know the severity of any of them.
While Smith-Schuster’s injury remains unknown, the Watt and Davis injuries can certainly be considered as the usual camp injuries. But fans were concerned when they saw McDonald leave practice with a foot injury. Not only can foot injuries linger, but McDonald battled injuries throughout the 2017 season, so fans are wondering if this might be a precursor of things to come this season as well.
Mark Kaboly of The Athletic put some perspective on the news of McDonald being carted off the field:
You all might want to ease up on the McDonald injury. We have no idea of the severity of it. He took a cart because it was a foot and the locker room is far away.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) July 29, 2018
Compared to other NFL teams, the Steelers have been fortunate with their injuries thus far. When you hear about a number of teams losing key players for the season, the news of Ramon Foster’s knee injury not being season-ending should be a comfort to the organization and the fan base.
Time for some other tidbits from Steelers’ training camp:
Players respond to Ramon Foster’s injury scare
Because the Steelers’ offensive line has remained intact for almost three seasons now, whenever a member of the crew goes down, there’s concern across the board. We all saw the photos of Ben Roethlisberger helping Foster into a van and comforting him on the cart.
It looked bad, but thankfully the team got some good news. Here’s what his teammates had to say:
Guard David DeCastro said the good news is Ramon Foster doesn’t need surgery. “It could have been worse,” DeCastro said.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) July 29, 2018
In 3 games replacing Ramon Foster, B.J. Finney has helped running game produce 240 yards in Buffalo and 149 yards vs KC in 2016 and 194 yards in KC last season. “It’s not a new thing for me,” Finney said. “I know I can play at this level. I know I can do a good job filling in."— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) July 29, 2018
Defense wins ‘Seven Shots’
After the offense got the best of the defense, it was the defense who got revenge by winning 4 of the 7 attempts.
Training camp 7 shots drill: defense wins 4/7. Burns intercepted a ripped pass from Davis while covering James. Roethlisberger had two improv touchdowns to Nix and Hunter. Allen, Sensabaugh and Haden has PDs on fade routes. Rudolph scored 1/3 on a slant to JuJu. #Steelers #dkps— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) July 29, 2018
Watt showing some progression
The Steelers’ top 2017 NFL Draft had a tremendous rookie campaign, and has shown some serious signs of improvement throughout the early portions of camp — and this progress is showing despite the fact he’s now rushing from the opposite side.
Watt swat. Cuts off his pass rush to sky into the air and knock down a pass from Dobbs. #Steelers #dkps— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) July 28, 2018
Watt tries a move on DeCastro and DeCastro sees it coming, but the fact that Watt is executing different moves this early in camp is a good sign. #Steelers #dkps— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) July 28, 2018
Practice ends, but Watt and Dupree hit the sleds for about 10 minutes working on explosiveness. #dkps #Steelers— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) July 28, 2018
#LIVE: Coach Tomlin addresses the media following practice at #SteelersCamp. https://t.co/uMrW7N42Cs— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 29, 2018
Artie Burns feels his third season will be a big one. pic.twitter.com/Ri1nOWNMoH— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 29, 2018
#Steelers CB Joe Haden (@joehaden23) catches up with Peter King (@peter_king) @MySaintVincent for a podcast interview available Wednesday on @iTunes on The Peter King Podcast. pic.twitter.com/7QTJRa3Rnq— Dom Rinelli (@drinelli) July 29, 2018
Safe to say the receivers won the majority of battles today. And @rell_island6 spent another afternoon blanketing receivers who just made great plays. #dkps #Steelers pic.twitter.com/yObeUWukZC— Matty Sunday (@mattsunday) July 29, 2018
Ben working on his fade throws after practice pic.twitter.com/U0WsUhpJk1— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) July 29, 2018
.@TeamJuJu got @joehaden23 pretty good with a double move in one-on-ones. For six. #dkps #Steelers #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/QfD6hIHrA5— Matty Sunday (@mattsunday) July 29, 2018
Squaaaaad. #CampLife pic.twitter.com/1Z3CTDyGx9— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 29, 2018
✌️ @JamesConner_ pic.twitter.com/BV29vwQgIx— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) July 29, 2018