The Pittsburgh Steelers secondary with Steven Nelson, Joe Haden, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Mike Hilton and Terrell Edmunds might be the most complete secondary fans have seen since the Mike Tomlin era began in 2007. Is it the best secondary in the league? No. Does it have its weaknesses? Absolutely, but there is no doubt this secondary is a huge upgrade over the past few seasons.
As the team prepares for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6, they are hoping to have their entire secondary in tact on Sunday Night Football, but when you look at the most recent injury report it certainly isn’t a certainty.
Starting cornerback Steven Nelson has been a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday as he battles a groin injury, and while Mike Hilton was added on Thursday with a foot injury, Nelson’s injury is by far the most significant injury of them all.
The reason is two fold. First, the depth behind Nelson is far from stellar. While Artie Burns might have improved from his 2018 self, do you want to see him in the starting lineup in prime time with the season on the line?
Second, the Chargers possess an offense which will need the Steelers’ best secondary available. Keenan Allen, who tortured the Steelers at Heinz Field in 2018, already has caught 38 passes for 471 yards, 12.4 yards per catch, and three touchdowns. On top of Allen, the Chargers have plenty of big-play threats on their team, like Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams and Dontrelle Inman, and Nelson’s play to date has been superb.
Friday’s injury report will be one to keep an eye on to see if Nelson continued to be limited, or if he was able to ramp up to a full participant and show he is read, and able, to play Sunday night. Some might be thinking Hilton’s injury is also of concern, and while any injury to a starter is never a good thing, when you have Cameron Sutton waiting in the wings it would ease the sting of the injury when it pertains to the players lining up on the field in Week 6.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding both team’s injury reports Friday, when teams have to release their final injury reports leading up to the game.