The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-0 on the 2021 preseason after a 16-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the annual Hall of Fame game, but now they turn their attention to their preseason Week 1 opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Steelers will travel to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for a Thursday night game set to start at 7:30pm ET, and most fans of the black and gold want to know who will play, and who won’t in the latest exhibition game.
Mike Tomlin addressed the media Tuesday, and did his best to avoid giving a clear cut list of players who won’t be available for the Steelers vs. the Eagles. However, he did say the front line players are not expected to play. With that said, we can probably expect the following players to be ruled out Thursday night, as veterans:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
DT Cam Heyward
CB Joe Haden
Based on practice participation, it seems obvious the following players also won’t be playing vs. the Eagles either:
OLB T.J. Watt (Contract)
DT Stephon Tuitt
WR James Washington (Injury)
RB Benny Snell (Injury)
RB Kalen Ballage (Injury)
Unlike most NFL teams who only play three preseason games, the Steelers’ four preseason game schedule gives them ample time to have their younger, and more inexperienced, players plenty of repetitions heading into the regular season. Tomlin stated during his press conference the final decisions as to who will play, and how much they play, has yet to be determined.
Tomlin did mention how he is excited to see players return to the lineup as part of their “road to recovery”. Players who could fall into this category would be players like:
OT Chuks Okorafor
OT Zach Banner
ILB Devin Bush
OG Kevin Dotson
TE Pat Freiermuth
It was reiterated several times how the plan can change for any player/position during a second preseason game. Some players could play more, while others play less. It depends who is available and who they want to get an extended look at playing “in stadium”, as Tomlin would say.
In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Eagles Thursday, and the 2021 regular season.
To get a full breakdown/synopsis of the Mike Tomlin press conference, check the BTSC Press Conference Recap podcast below:
You can watch Tomlin’s full press conference in the video below: