The Pittsburgh Steelers had their first practice of Week 16 as they prepare to take on the New York Jets. According to the Steelers PR Department, there were six players who did not participate in practice on Wednesday, none of which were due to injury.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had returned to practice the beginning of last week only to suffer a setback. After missing four straight games, Smith-Schuster was able to return to practice on Wednesday as a limited participant. It will be Smith-Schuster’s progression throughout practices this week which will give a better indication of his availability on Sunday.
Tight end Vance McDonald is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after leaving the Steelers’ Week 14 game in the second half but was able to return to practice as a full participant on Wednesday. Although he remains in the protocol as of now, being able to be a full participant is a good step for McDonald’s return.
One player who did miss practice was cornerback Artie Burns. But Burns’ unavailability was due to illness and not injury.
The other players who did not practice on Wednesday were due to a coaches decision. Mark Barron and Maurkice Pouncey have been given Wednesdays off most weeks in 2019. New additions last week to having time off the first day of practice were guard David DeCastro and tackle Alejandro Villanueva. For the first time n 2019, Pro Bowler and Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt was given the day off.
As for the Jets injury report, it can be seen below courtesy on Steelers.com.
New York Jets Participation/Injury Report, Week 16
Wednesday, December 18
OL Tom Compton (Calf) - DNP
WR Demaryius Thomas (Hamstring/Knee) - DNP
S Jamal Adams (Ankle) - Limited
DL Henry Anderson (Shoulder) - Limited
OT Kelvin Beachum (Ankle) - Limited
LB B.J. Bello (Illness) - Limited
S Bennett Jackson (Illness) - Limited
CB Arthur Maulet (Calf) - Limited
DL Steve McLendon (Knee) - Limited
CB Brian Poole (Concussion) - Limited
RB Bilal Powell (Ankle) - Limited
DL Quinnen Williams (Kneck) - Limited
CB Maurice Canady (Shoulder) - Full
QB Sam Darnold (Knee/ Left Thumb) - Full
QB David Fales (Right Elbow) - Full
DL Kyle Phillips (Hip) - Full
OL Brent Qvale (Knee) - Full
DL Nathan Shepherd (Rib/Ankle) - Full