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Steelers are far from healthy coming off their Week 9 bye

The Pittsburgh Steelers are more banged up coming off the bye week than they were going into it.

New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off their bye in Week 9 and getting ready for the New Orleans Saints in Week 10. It has been since the team’s Week 6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers they have been in Acrisure Stadium, and the hope is they give their fans something to cheer about coming off their week off.

Tuesday, Mike Tomlin met with the media to discuss the upcoming game, and plenty more. One of the biggest factors in the upcoming game were the injuries to the team, even coming off the bye.

Throughout the press conference Tomlin labeled several players who had been listed with previous injuries, but also some new injuries of note.

The first name listed was linebacker Myles Jack with an apparent knee injury. As always, Jack’s availability throughout the week will dictate the team’s willingness to put him in the lineup. Another new name added was long snapper Christian Kuntz who is dealing with a rib injury. Unlike Jack, Tomlin didn’t sound as if the hip injury would hinder Kuntz’s availability this week.

A name which fans have been frustrated by seeing so much is Ahkello Witherspoon. The cornerback was listed with a hamstring injury, and it isn’t known if it is a repeat of his previous injury, or a new injury altogether.

Working their way back from injury are players like cornerback Levi Wallace (shoulder), Larry Ogunjobi (knee) and Chris Boswell (groin). Tomlin also talked about newly acquired cornerback William Jackson III still dealing with his back injury which could him limited in the early portions of the work week.

As for T.J. Watt and Damontae Kazee, Tomlin said the team is “optimistic” they will return, but he has to see how they respond to the workload of the week before they ultimately make that decision. Kazee told reporters Monday he is going to be activated this week, while Tomlin pumped the brakes on that talk, likely out of trying to keep the Steelers’ cards as close to the vest as possible.

This is far from the report fans were hoping for as the team was coming off their bye, but the hope is the majority of these injuries are deemed minor, getting the entire lineup back on the field to hopefully start a finish of the season to remember.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Saints this Sunday in Week 10.

For a full rundown of of Mike Tomlin’s time with the media on Tuesday, check out BTSC’s Press Conference Recap podcast below: