The trade for a new wide receiver wasn’t the only big news of the day for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday after three key starters made significant progress at practice with respect to some notable, previous injuries. Linebacker T.J. Watt was a full participant in training for the first time in almost a month, while guard Ramon Foster and tight end Jesse James each made a surprise return to practice.
T.J. Watt was full practice participant, Ramon Foster was back on the field and Jesse James was back two days after getting back contusion vs. Titans— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 27, 2018
With just a few days left until the Steelers’ final preseason game of the year, it seems unlikely all three names will be cleared to play against the Carolina Panthers, but the news bodes well for their possible participation in the season opener.
While Foster is perhaps the biggest injury concern of the group, given the extent of his injury, he’s surprisingly optimistic he’ll be able to suit up against the Cleveland Browns.
Ramon Foster returned to practice e today. He said he did individuals and split team reps. Waiting to see how it reacts but he feels good about being back for opener versus the Browns— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 27, 2018
The return of James was a pleasant surprise considering he’s only two days removed from the game that put him on the injury list in the first place. Speaking to the media after practice, Mike Tomlin confirmed that James was back at work with his teammates, but he had no good news to share about the rest of that position group.
“Jesse is fine. He got checked out after the game. He’s back out there working. Hopefully the others will continue to work their way back to us.”
Tomlin: "It's an important week for all of us." pic.twitter.com/YLR7iEt5dh— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 27, 2018
No word as yet from the Steelers about the health of Marcus Tucker or the extent of his injury. However, the recent acquisition of Ryan Switzer doesn’t bode well for his long-term status with the team, whether healthy or not.