The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team which has the look of a unit desperately needing a week off. That week off is now upon the Steelers as they enter their Week 7 bye week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Some NFL experts have said there is no such thing as a poorly timed bye week, and when the schedule was released many fans though the Week 7 bye was too early in the season. Others had nightmares about the 2020 Week 7 bye week which was ruined by the Tennessee Titans COVID-19 outbreak.
Nonetheless, the Steelers are not going to complain about getting a week off, and they could use the extra week to hopefully get several players back to full health.
When you consider some of the players who might be dealing with lingering injuries, but been able to play through them, the list is long:
James Washington (groin)
Devin Bush (groin)
Cam Sutton (groin)
T.J. Watt (groin)
Alex Highsmith (groin)
Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/hip)
Chase Claypool (hamstring)
Carlos Davis (knee)
Kevin Dotson (hip)
Although these players missed a minimal amount of time, it doesn’t mean the injuries they sustained are 100% healed. The week off can make a world of difference for soft tissue injuries like a groin or hamstring strain.
In the Steelers’ Week 6 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks the only injury of note was to rookie offensive tackle Dan Moore Jr. Moore left the game with an apparent hip injury, and did not return.
Joe Haeg out at LT to start this possession for the Steelers. Dan Moore Jr. (hip) is questionable to return.— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) October 18, 2021
Steelers start at their 26 with 5:19 left. Tied ballgame.
After the game, Mike Tomlin did not give an update on Moore’s status, which typically means it isn’t considered a serious injury. Tomlin won’t meet with media this week, so fans will have to wait to hear about the health of the Steelers until the following Tuesday when the team ramps up for the Cleveland Browns in Week 8.
Other than those dealing with lingering injuries, the Steelers are also hopeful to get other players back into the fold who have been placed on Injured Reserve (IR). Prior to the Sunday night game Zach Banner was activated to the 53-man roster, so it is safe to assume he will be anchoring one side of the line coming off the bye week. As for Anthony McFarland, who admitted he tore his MCL prior to the season, he has yet to be activated, but at least has returned to practice. The only other player who has yet to have his 21-day clock started is Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt is nursing a knee injury, and when he will return is anyone’s guess, but the defensive line could use him in a big way down the stretch.
Now comes the difficult part for fans where they are left in the dark for over a week, hoping the Steelers are able to get some of these nagging injuries healthy before their first matchup against the Browns, in Cleveland, in Week 8.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they head into their bye week.