While the initial reports in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs suggested the team had avoided any new injuries, Mike Tomlin painted a rather different picture in his press conference on Tuesday than the one he sketched on Sunday.
After telling the media there was “nothing significant from an injury standpoint to mention” only a few days ago, it turns out there actually were some rather notable injury concerns to worry about when he told reporters the following:
“On the injury front, we have a couple of things to manage and watch, a couple of existing injuries: David DeCastro has a chance as he works his way back from his hand injury. We’ll watch his participation this week. Tyson Alualu, same thing, as he works his way back from his shoulder injury. We have a couple of new injuries to manage and watch. Marcus Gilbert with a hamstring, and Ramon Foster is managing a knee injury. We’ll watch those guys through the week and see how they go. I didn’t mention Joe Haden. He had a good week of rehabilitation, and we anticipate him working, but again, we’ll let the result of that work and the quality of that work be our guide in terms of determining his availability.”
With David DeCastro already sidelined by a fractured hand, the prospect of being without Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster for any extended period of time would be potentially disastrous for the Steelers.
B.J. Finney has already been pressed into service in place of DeCastro, leaving Matt Feiler as the next man up at guard and Chukwuma Okorafor as the backup at tackle. Zach Banner would be the only remaining healthy reserve offensive lineman on the roster, and Pittsburgh will need to consider promoting either R.J. Prince or Patrick Morris from the practice squad before game day if any of the three starters cannot go.
Thankfully, playing on Monday night will give the injured names an extra day to recover. It can only be hoped that at least one or two of the familiar faces along the offensive line will be able to take part in Week 3.