The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, and awaiting them at Heinz Field this Sunday are the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13. It doesn’t get any easier for the Steelers in the final six games of the regular season, and the team will need all hands on deck to right the ship and start winning games again.
Tuesday, Mike Tomlin met with media to talk about the state of the Steelers, and talked about the status of injured players heading into the Ravens game.
The first player mentioned by Tomlin was the injury to inside linebacker Robert Spillane. Spillane left the game Sunday with a knee injury, and Tomlin clarified the injury as a knee sprain. Spillane’s injury will likely have him out of practice this week, and, as Tomlin said, less than available to the team this week.
After his touchdown reception, Pat Freiermuth left the game and was said to be evaluated after the game. Tuesday Tomlin confirmed Freiermuth is officially in the NFL’s concussion protocol. This doesn’t mean Freiermuth won’t play this Sunday, but he will have to get over several hurdles before he clears that protocol.
The other injury which occurred during the game was a hip injury to long snapper Christian Kuntz. Tomlin said the injury could limit Kuntz’s work in the early portions of the week, with his overall availability on game day being dictated by what he can, or cannot, do during practice this week.
The team is hopeful to get cornerback Joe Haden (foot) back, and the Steelers head coach stated Haden is hopefully working his way back this week after missing the past two games with what was labeled as a mid-foot sprain.
Obviously, the team announced Monday how All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt is now in the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 protocol. The team will adhere to that protocol, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Watt will miss the game this Sunday, it is just highly unlikely.
Tomlin was asked about an update on defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt (knee), and if it is safe to assume Tuitt won’t be returning to the team this season. Tomlin said he hadn’t thought about it, as it doesn’t think six weeks in advance, but knows Tuitt won’t be available to the team this week preparing for the Ravens.
Tomlin said Carlos Davis (knee), as he continues to progress back off the Injured Reserve (IR) list, could be an option to return to the team this week. He also added the recently signed Montravius Adams could contribute, although he did note Adams has more of a hurdle to clear considering he is new to the system.
Needless to say, the Steelers’ first reported practice, Wednesday, will make things extremely interesting with these injuries at key positions. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Ravens this Sunday at Heinz Field for a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff.
For a full report on Mike Tomlin’s press conference, check out BTSC’s Press Conference Recap podcast below: