The Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, and the one area of concern in any preseason game are always injuries. Mainly avoiding those crucial injuries to key players.
Throughout the Steelers 19-9 win, the team lost several key contributors to injury. The first player to leave was wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who left with what was labeled a shoulder injury. Following Johnson’s removal from the game, T.J. Watt left the game with a left knee injury.
Following those players being ruled out, both were seen on the sidelines in street clothes without any aid. Most viewed this as a good sign. After the game Mike Tomlin talked about these injuries and said they weren’t serious. In fact, he also said the two players could have returned if it were a regular season game.
Coach Mike Tomlin said the injuries to T.J. Watt and Diontae Johnson aren't serious. As far as the injury to Damontae Kazee, it is more serious and his availability could be questionable.— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) August 28, 2022
Unfortunately, not all injuries sustained in the game were deemed not serious. In fact, the wrist injury to safety Damontae Kazee was labeled as “more serious” and could have his availability in question moving forward.
What was a shame about the Kazee injury was how he was expected to have a large role in the defense this season. The team had been running a lot of three safety looks with Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds and Kazee, and without Kazee in the lineup the next man up might not be able to fill those shoes.
UPDATE: According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kazee‘s injury will require surgery and he will end up on the Reserve/Injured List (IR). In order to return to the Steelers during the 2022 season, Kazee will first have to spend 24 hours on the 53-man roster starting Tuesday. If Kazee is placed on IR before this time, he must remain there for the entire season or be released once he passes a physical.
Bad news for Steelers: Backup safety Damontae Kazee needs surgery on injured wrist/arm and will go on IR.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 29, 2022
Nonetheless, the Steelers now have two weeks to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 of the regular season, and the hope is some of these injuries will be nothing more than a blip on the radar once the games start to count.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they head into the regular season on September 11th.