The Pittsburgh Steelers are perfect no more. After their 23-17 loss to the Washington Football Team at Heinz Field in Week 13, the team now has to figure out how they will respond to their first defeat of the 2020 regular season.
Will they bounce back in a big way vs. the red-hot Buffalo Bills in Buffalo? Or is this the start of a new, and ugly, trend? Either way, the health of the team is paramount moving forward, and Mike Tomlin talked about that at length Tuesday at his weekly press conference as he is now tasked with getting his team re-focused and ready for Sunday Night Football.
The biggest question many fans have, at a position they can ill afford an injury, is the status of inside linebacker Robert Spillane. Spillane suffered a knee injury which Tomlin said is still being evaluated. While Tomlin didn’t elaborate, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN did say via his Twitter account Spillane should return at some point this season.
Steelers have more injury concerns at linebacker: Robert Spillane is expected to miss time on a knee injury suffered during the Washington game, per source. But surgery won't be needed and he should be able to return this season.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 8, 2020
While the team waits to hear on Spillane, the only other notable injury from the game Monday vs. Washington was to cornerback Joe Haden. Haden suffered a concussion during the game and will have to get through the NFL’s concussion protocol before he will be cleared to return to game action.
With that said, Tomlin is hopeful to get a few key players back this week. Tomlin said both James Conner and Maurkice Pouncey have been cleared to return to the team after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, and they will begin working their way back this week.
On top of those two offensive players, the Steelers could see Steven Nelson return to the lineup, after missing Monday’s game due to a knee injury, but Tomlin also said kicker Chris Boswell, who missed Monday with a hip injury, should also start the process of working his way back this week.
A lot of question marks surround the Steelers as they prepare on another short week for a huge AFC showdown with the Bills. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for Week 14 of the 2020 regular season.
For more news on Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference, be sure to check out the Tomlin Press Conference Recap podcast below: