The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off their Week 9 bye and are preparing for the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 at Acrisure Stadium. With a 2-6 record, there is a group in the fan base who doesn’t feel it necessary to look ahead much. After all, the team has been dreadful in the first half of the season, so what’s the use of looking down the road?
Well, if you dare to look at the team’s schedule, the Steelers upcoming games certainly soften compared to the first eight games of the regular season. There are many storylines/injuries which could impact the game(s) upcoming for the Steelers.
Let’s take a look at some of these games:
Week 10: vs. New Orleans Saints
The biggest injury to New Orleans, outside of quarterback Jameis Winston, would be to wide receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas’ ankle injury has him on Injured Reserve (IR) and it will make defending the Saints a lot easier without their best pass catching option.
As for who will be the quarterback for the Saints in Week 10, it could be either Winston or Andy Dalton. Depending on who the coaching staff decides to go with will be a huge storyline moving forward.
Week 11: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals offense is coming off a huge game where Joe Mixon tallied five touchdowns vs. the Carolina Panthers, but the big injury for the Bengals is to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Chase is dealing with a hip injury which the organization thinks will take 4-6 weeks to recover. What was odd was how the team decided to not put him on IR, keeping him on the active roster instead. Could Chase return to the lineup in Pittsburgh? It’s possible, but at this time seems unlikely. When it comes to defending the Bengals, doing so without worrying about Chase will be a lift for the Steelers defense.
Week 12: at Indianapolis Colts
On the day the Colts fired head coach Frank Reich, the entire Colts season has been in shambles. Matt Ryan has been benched for Sam Ehlinger, who hasn’t performed well thus far, but the ankle injury to Jonathan Taylor has kept him in and out of the lineup the majority of the season. The Colts said they weren’t going to place Taylor on IR, but if he continues to deal with this injury they might not have another choice. Without Ryan at quarterback, and Taylor carrying to ball, the Colts offense has been dreadful. This would be good news for the Steelers.
Week 14: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 14 is a ways away, but the fact the Ravens already put wide receiver Rashod Bateman on IR with an ankle injury is certainly noteworthy. Throw in the fact tight end Mark Andrews has been dealing with a knee/shoulder injury and is not going to play in the Monday night game in Week 9 because of those injuries is notable. Andrews’ injuries could be healed by Week 14, but Bateman going on season-ending IR is another weapon the Steelers don’t have to worry about defending.
These are just a few of the injuries plaguing teams on the Steelers’ upcoming schedule. Are there more players? Absolutely, but these are certainly some of the noteworthy names to keep an eye on. In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Saints this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.