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Steelers 2022 Training Camp Recap, Day 11: Several key players return to practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Training Camp, and it is time to check out what went down during the latest practice!

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 2019, and fans have descended on Latrobe, PA in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 2022 team.

What went down during the latest training camp practice? That is where this article comes in. Check out all that was said, as well as photos and videos from the day’s workouts.

Here we go...

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of questions marks across the roster, and it will take every practice and preseason game for the coaching staff to find a way to get answers to those questions. There were a lot of storylines to come out of Monday’s practice, and we highlight some of those below:

Players Returning

The Steelers moved their practice from Saint Vincent College to Latrobe HS, and the practice marked the return of several players who had missed practices due to injury. Of note, Larry Ogunjoby (foot), Chase Claypool (shoulder), Levi Wallace (illness), Cam Sutton (knee) and Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) were all back in pads. Earlier Monday it was announced Tyson Alualu (knee) was taken off the PUP List, and returned to practice with his teammates.

As for Najee Harris, he is getting close to returning, but hasn’t been back in full pads since having his foot stepped on last week.

7 Shots

Before reading too much into the below statistics, understand the skill position players didn’t do anything to help their quarterbacks in this drills. Several drops equated in the defense winning the opening drill.

7 Shots, Part Deux

The Steelers returned to 7 Shots later in practice, and the offense got the best of the defense. That is a feat which hasn’t been able to be said much this camp.

Goal line Work

The Steelers ran what is usually the Friday Night Lights practice plan, and that includes some extremely physical drills. In this respect, one of those drills is the goal line drill. The two units line up, the ball is handed off, and you see which unit wins.

Run Period

The Steelers did their usual run periods, where the focus is on running the ball, and stopping the run. Both units had their plays, and Benny Snell had himself a pretty good day filling in for Najee Harris.

Kenny on the run

Kenny Pickett is far from a finished product, but if there is one part of his game which is already polished it is his ability to throw accurately on the run. He did it well at Pitt, and is doing it in the NFL for the Steelers.

Not ideal

There are certain things which always irritate coaches. In the sport of football, turning the ball over is usually one of them. However, if you were to get more specific, unforced errors, like fumbling snaps, might trump everything. Mason Rudolph, in back-to-back repetitions, had two QB/Center fumbles. Mike Tomlin wasn’t pleased.

Connor Heyward, Swiss Army Knife

With Derek Watt not practicing, it was Connor Heyward who filled in at fullback. Heyward has played primarily tight end, but is proving the more you can do, the better chance of making the roster.

Getting Physical

If the 2021 Steelers offensive line lacked anything, it would likely be a lack of physicality. Against the full defense, not a watered down version without players like Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, the starting offensive line was able to get physical and win some of those battles. A good sign.

Injury Update

While the Steelers got several players back from injury, they also lost several to injury. After practice Mike Tomlin labeled Diontae Johnson with a hip flexor injury and Alex Highsmith with a rib injury. On top of those, Kevin Dotson suffered an injured ankle, and several players had ice on different appendages to help decrease swelling in joints. Tomlin would label these as “bumps and bruises associated with football”.

Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Press Conference