The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off their Week 7 bye week and have begun their work to prepare for the Cleveland Browns in Week 8 of the regular season. One of the biggest questions surrounding the team are injured players not just getting back on the playing field, but getting back to health.
During Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference, he addressed the injury situation of the team, and it was the best news possible for the Steelers coming off their bye week. In other words, Tomlin stated the team was fully healthy after their break.
Coach also added Zach Banner being back to work as a full participant.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) October 26, 2021
To be more specific, Tomlin said injuries shouldn’t be an issue for anyone on the active roster. That would include the hamstring injury to Chase Claypool, the groin injuries to several players and even the pectoral/hip injury to Ben Roethlisberger.
One player who is still in the process of returning is offensive tackle Zach Banner. Banner is on the team’s 53-man active roster, but was inactive for the Week 6 game vs. the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. Tomlin said after the game the reason for him being inactive was the hope of giving him another week to get healthy as he continue to work through a knee injury.
Whether Banner is deemed the starter at right tackle has yet to be determined. As always, Tomlin alluded to practice participation being the ultimate guide to whether Banner returns as the starter, or is the team’s flex tackle behind rookie Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor.
Tomlin was asked about the return of running back Anthony McFarland (knee), and he said the team is planning on activating him off injured reserve (IR) at some point this week. Will McFarland have a role within the offense immediately upon his return? That will all be determined by the work the team will be doing preparing for Cleveland.
Finally, Tomlin gave an update on Stephon Tuitt (knee) when asked about his potential return. Tomlin did not give an update, but although he did say his return was not imminent, he did say Tuitt was Progressing well. The bad news is he also added Tuitt is just not ready yet to get back on the practice field. The hope is Tuitt can at least have his 21-day clock started sooner, rather than later, and start working his way back to the active roster.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for their second AFC North matchup in Cleveland this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET. For more details on the Mike Tomlin press conference, check out the BTSC Mike Tomlin Press Conference Recap podcast below.