The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a resounding Week 6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, but the road forward doesn’t get any easier. Before the team’s Week 9 bye week, they have back-to-back road games against the Miami Dolphins in Week 7 on Sunday Night Football, and against the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8.
One factor with this team which is a necessity to their success it health. Heading into the game vs. Tampa Bay the team was extremely short-handed on the defensive side of the football. Without the likes of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon, Cam Sutton and Pat Freiermuth, the team was somehow able to find a way to win their second game of the season.
As the team now prepares for the Dolphins in prime time, assessing the injury situation is paramount, and something Mike Tomlin does weekly during his Tuesday press conference. When meeting with the media Tomlin mentioned several injuries which could hinder players throughout the week.
The first name Tomlin mentioned was the concussion sustained by rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. Shockingly, Tomlin was very open about the injury, and didn’t just say Pickett was in the protocol. While Tomlin did say Pickett was in the league’s protocol, he did say it is expected Pickett’s work won’t be limited in any way leading up to the Week 7 game.
Tomlin continued and said if Pickett is cleared to play, he’ll play and be the starter for the Steelers. During the press conference, Tomlin said Pickett is expected to be a full participant this week in practice. However, he also added both Pickett and Trubisky will work together in practice this week.
There were other injuries of note, and some which weren’t acknowledged after the game Sunday.
Return man Steven Sims suffered a hamstring injury which might slow in the early portions of the week. Offensive guard James Daniels and Myles Jack are both dealing with ankle injuries and center Mason Cole is still dealing with the foot injury which has hindered him throughout the past couple weeks. The only other injury from last week’s game was to defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi who is dealing with a knee injury.
Outside of those in-game injuries last week, there are other players who are scheduled to participate this week as they near a return to the lineup. As always, these players’ levels of practice participation will be the team’s guide to their availability this Sunday night.
Those players would be:
- Cam Sutton (hamstring)
- Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee)
- Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)
Two more players who are nearing their return to the team, are the pair of players who suffered concussions in the Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills. These two players have not yet received final clearance out of the protocol, but Tomlin said they are anticipating they will be before the game Sunday.
Those players would be cornerback Levi Wallace and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
This week, maybe more than most, the injury report will be key to watch as the game nears. The first reported practice will be Wednesday, and we’ll have everything for you right here in one spot.
So, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Dolphins this Sunday night in south beach on Sunday Night Football.
For a breakdown of Mike Tomlin’s entire time with the media, check out BTSC’s Press Conference Recap podcast below: