The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a wild win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 at Heinz Field, but the road ahead doesn’t get any easier. Next up for the black-and-gold is a road trip to the AFC’s top team, the 10-4 Kansas City Chiefs. While most have already chalked up a loss in this upcoming game, a lot of how the Steelers perform depends on who they have available.
Following the Titans game there were several players who were lost to injury, but there is a hope some, if not all, could return to the lineup this Sunday. Tuesday Mike Tomlin spoke with the media and outlined the injury status for key players heading into the AFC showdown this Sunday at 4:25pm ET at Arrowhead Stadium.
The most notable injury for the Steelers was the concussion to rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. Freiermuth is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Tomlin reminded everyone the organization has to let that be the guide as Freiermuth works his way back to practice. Evaluations for Freiermuth, this being his second concussion of the season, will come from medical staff and no one else. Tomlin did add if the Steelers will be without the rookie tight end this Sunday, the team will promote in-house at the tight end position.
Another in-game injury for the Steelers was defensive tackle Chris Wormley. Wormley suffered a groin injury and wasn’t able to finish the game. Tomlin said Wormley is being aggressive in treatment for the injury, but, as always, his practice availability will dictate whether he can play Sunday or not.
There was some news and that came with Tomlin stating the organization is planning on starting the 21-day window on guard Kevin Dotson as he works his way back from a high ankle sprain and was placed on Injured Reserve (IR). Dotson will join J.C. Hassenauer (pectoral) returning to practice in the hopes of re-joining the lineup.
Fans were concerned in the waning minutes of the game Sunday when T.J. Watt looked to show discomfort with an injury to his midsection/ribs. Tomlin did not have Watt listed as an injured player, so whatever the injury was/is shouldn’t keep him off the field moving forward.
Tomlin did add Isaiah Buggs is still dealing an ankle injury which had the former Alabama defensive lineman downgraded from Questionable to OUT vs. Tennessee. The hope is Buggs can return to practice and be available to play Sunday.
Other than those aforementioned players, the Steelers are hopeful to get Montravious Adams back off the Reserve/COVID-19 List, as well as potentially having rookie linebacker Buddy Johnson (foot) and tight end Kevin Rader (hip) both available for the Chiefs game.
There was no update this week, which shouldn’t be shocking, on defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt and his potential return.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they hope to string together wins this Sunday in Week 16 with a trip to Arrowhead Stadium.
For a rundown of the entire press conference, check out BTSC’s Mike Tomlin Press Conference Recap podcast below: