The Pittsburgh Steelers rested most of their starters on Thursday night, in large part to avoid injury, but that did not mean they escaped their matchup against the Carolina Panthers unscathed. Several players fighting for a place on the final 53-man roster left the game early in the second half with injuries, a group that included two young rookie linebackers that many outsiders expect to see on the Opening Day roster.
Ola Adeniyi and Matthew Thomas were perhaps the most notable names unable to finish the game and both were seen receiving medical treatment on the sidelines.
Ola Adeniyi out with a hamstring injury. Could have roster implications, depending on severity. Adeniyi has had a strong preseason, beat a tackle for a sack tonight.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 31, 2018
Should either injury prove to be serious or require a long period of recovery, their chances of making the team will have gone out of the window. Wide receiver Damoun Patterson had been making plays on the night until a turf toe problem ended his game early, as did a foot injury for Joseph Cheek. With both players long shots to make the squad before the night began, the loss of reps alone will have been disappointing for them. Linebacker Keith Kelsey would also leave the game with a pec injury.
#Steelers LB Keith Kelsey has a pectoral injury. He will not return to tonight's game.— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) August 31, 2018
Malik Golden would depart on a cart in the fourth quarter, another unfortunately timed injury for the former Penn State product.
Now, Golden for the second year in a row suffers a lower-body injury in the Carolina preseason game— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 31, 2018
#39 Malik Golden is out for the game (knee).— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 31, 2018
Speaking to the media after the game, Mike Tomlin made little comment about the players injured on the night, except to say they were being evaluated. He did however make special note of Golden, suggesting he had suffered “a significant knee injury”.