The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t just lose their Week 2 game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, they were decimated by injury almost overnight. Leading up to the game, both Joe Haden and Devin Bush were deemed inactive for the contest with groin injuries. As if this wasn’t a big enough blow to the defense, Tyson Alualu left with a broken ankle, which landed him on the Injured Reserve (IR), T.J. Watt left the game with his own groin injury and Diontae Johnson was left clutching his knee at the end of regulation.
Needless to say, the injury status of these players is almost as important as the team’s ability to develop a running game and a consistent offensive attack. During Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference Tuesday, he gave a brief description of the players who may, or may not, be available to the Steelers when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 at Heinz Field.
Tomlin started be outlining Tyson Alualu being placed on IR, and having surgery to repair his fractured ankle. Henry Mondeaux was called up from the practice squad to fill Alualu’s spot on the 53-man roster, but it is Isaiah Buggs who finds himself as the starting nose tackle on the team’s official depth chart, with Mondeaux being his backup.
Outside of Alualu, Tomlin did outline some new injuries of note, and those to players who have a significant role on the team.
Tomlin stated outside linebacker Alex Highsmith is dealing with a groin injury, and could limit him early in the week. It should be noted Highsmith suffered a groin injury before the Week 1 game vs. the Buffalo Bills, but was able to play.
On top of Highsmith, Tomlin said Ben Roethlisberger suffered a pectoral injury to his left pectoral muscle. According to Tomlin, this injury could impact Roethlisberger’s preparation leading up to the divisional game this Sunday.
All other injuries which were mentioned were all known injuries. Of the following players, no real update was given, other than the team “leaving the light on” for them, and their participation will ultimately be the team’s guide.
T.J. Watt (groin)
Devin Bush (groin)
Joe Haden (groin)
Finally, Tomlin did mention Diontae Johnson, who suffered a knee injury on the final play of Week 2. Tomlin said Johnson was, “looking better, but not to be confused with great.”
These injuries will have a huge impact on the outcome of the upcoming game, and the Steelers’ first practice report on Wednesday will ultimately shine a light on who will, and won’t, play in Week 3 vs. Cincinnati.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for their first AFC North divisional game of the 2021 regular season.
For more information on Mike Tomlin’s press conference, check out BTSC’s recap podcast below.