No news is good news, right?
On a night when the Steelers saw several familiar faces get back on the field, the fact no new players were mentioned as being injured by head coach Mike Tomlin after the game is something to celebrate.
Players who returned to action, for one reason or another, were:
LT Chuks Okorafor
RG Trai Turner
ILB Devin Bush
OLB Melvin Ingram
S Terrell Edmunds
TE Pat Freiermuth
There were other players who made their way onto the field, but the aforementioned players returned for a variety of reasons.
Bush “got his feet wet”, as Mike Tomlin said after the game, for the first time since he tore his ACL in 2020. Terrell Edmunds had been held out of any contact drills after having offseason surgery. Chuks Okorafor made his way to the field after being sidelined with an injury to start training camp. Pat Freiermuth missed the Hall of Fame game vs. the Cowboys after dealing with a minor shoulder injury prior to the contest. Both Trai Turner and Melvin Ingram were inserted into the lineup for the first time since being acquired by the Steelers this offseason.
Not having anyone, not just the players returning, stay healthy was as equally impressive as the team’s win over their cross-state rivals. There are still hurdles to clear this preseason, and the next game will be a big one. When the Steelers host the Detroit Lions next Saturday night it will be the return of the vast majority of veterans.
Players who are expected to play, in some capacity, would be:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
S Minkah Fitzpatrick
CB Joe Haden
DE Cam Heyward
NT Tyson Alualu
OT Zach Banner
Players who could return, if their individual situations dictate it to happen, would be players like T.J. Watt, who is expecting a new contract, and Stephon Tuitt, who has yet to return to practice since training camp began.
Clear the hurdle of the third preseason game and the Steelers will be looking at going into the regular season with a clean bill of health. That doesn’t necessarily mean the healthy players will be good enough to put together a successful season, but it does mean the Steelers will have their best players available to do so.
Just have to stay healthy, and, yes, I just knocked on wood.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.