The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a wild and crazy 23-20 overtime win vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, but the victory hasn’t been the main talking point among the fan base since Chris Boswell nailed the 53-yard game-winning kick.
The talking point has been surrounding the team’s sudden rash of injury to big-name players, mainly Najee Harris (foot) and T.J. Watt (pectoral).
Tuesday Mike Tomlin met with media and addressed these injuries, among other players who were banged up in the AFC North grudge match at Paycor Stadium last Sunday.
As you can imagine, Tomlin spoke first about his All-Pro linebacker, T.J. Watt (pec). He said they feel the team, in regards to Watt’s injury, are in “a lot better place than right after the game”. He continued by staying Watt is out this week, but won’t make commitments beyond that for the rest of the season. Tomlin said he is encouraged, but reminded those listening the organization will do what’s appropriate with the injury.
Tomlin next spoke about center Mason Cole (ankle). Cole was injured in the second half vs. the Bengals last Sunday, but only missed a handful of games before he was able to return. Tomlin said the injured ankle might change the process for Cole this week, but he is expected to be available vs. New England this Sunday.
Najee Harris with his foot/ankle injury was the next player brought up during the press conference, and Tomlin spoke about how Harris is really optimistic. He continued to say it “is good to be young” when talking about Harris’ feelings about playing this week. Tomlin continued how Harris will be in position, but he’ll have to practice and prove his readiness. Tomlin continued by saying Harris is talented, but young, and the injury should be considered day-to-day.
Earlier on Tuesday, Harris went on Adam Schein’s Schein on Sports show on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio and spoke about how he is feeling, and if he is going to play this week.
“The plan is I should be ready to play. I should be back practicing.” Harris said. “Today’s our off day, so it’s good that we got today off just to let it heal for another day and just be ready to go this weekend.
“I’ll be back at practice this week. And then I will be playing this weekend.”
All other injuries which took place during the game in Cincinnati Sunday were labeled as bumps and bruises associated with the game. This would include the injuries to players like Levi Wallace (ankle) and Robert Spillane (eye) who both left the game in Week 1 and were unable to return to action.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the New England Patriots to invade Acrisure Stadium this Sunday for a 1pm ET kickoff.
For a rundown of Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Tuesday, check out BTSC’s Press Conference Recap podcast below: