The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys were the only two NFL teams who played in four preseason games this year. While typical for fans who watched the game prior to the 2020 season with no preseason, the rest of the league settled on three preseason games in 2021.
Some viewed this as a great opportunity to get players without a ton of experience to gain some of the valuable experience lost last season. Others saw it as an increased opportunity for injury.
With the Steelers’ preseason in the rear view mirror, we can safely say the team avoided the injury bug throughout these four games. Sure, there were injuries to players like Chase Claypool (ankle), Joshua Dobbs (toe) and Marcus Allen (hamstring), but not are considered long term and shouldn’t hinder players when the regular season rolls around.
Not all teams were this fortunate, even in a three preseason game schedule. On Saturday the Baltimore Ravens’ offense was delivered a huge blow when running back J.K. Dobbins left the game with a lower body injury. Sunday it is being reported the injury to Dobbins is feared to be the season-ending variety.
J.K. Dobbins currently is undergoing his MRI, but the expectation going in was that he had suffered a season-ending knee injury, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2021
Could you imagine the Steelers suffering a season-ending injury to Najee Harris? Ben Roethlisberger? How about Minkah Fitzpatrick?
It would be crippling to the lineup, and while this isn’t suggesting the Ravens will be awful without Dobbins, the Steelers staying healthy throughout the preseason should be a major talking point heading into the regular season.
We can talk about the backup quarterback position, the vacancy at the nickel cornerback position and even the punter battle, but this is all based on the Steelers getting through the first preseason since 2019 with a clean bill of health.
As the team now turns their attention to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 on the road, they can do so knowing their entire starting offense, and potentially their entire starting defense, T.J. Watt’s contract and Stephon Tuitt’s availability being the anomalies, will be healthy and ready for games that really count.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare to trim their roster and get ready for the 2021 regular season.