The Pittsburgh Steelers are reeling after their Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. The 1-2 record has left a sour taste in players, coaches and fans’ mouths alike, but if there is a positive with the Steelers heading into Week 4 it is the health of the team.
Following the loss in Cleveland, Mike Tomlin said in his post-game press conference the only injury of note was a hamstring injury to starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Witherspoon left the game, and was quickly ruled out in the second half of the game.
Other than Witherspoon, there were no other injuries outside of the ‘bumps and bruises associated with the game’, as Tomlin would say.
Not to diminish the injury to Witherspoon, but the Steelers enter their ‘mini bye’ with a healthy roster. Sure, the absence of T.J. Watt, who is on Injured Reserve (IR), has been noticeable, but the team hasn’t had an injury designation leading up to a game this entire season. As the age-old adage says, “your best ability is availability.”
There will be a large portion of the fan base who doesn’t want to hear about the health of the team. Many will suggest it doesn’t, and won’t, matter either way. However, if the team is to turn their season around, having all players available will be incredibly important moving forward.
The Week 4 game vs. the New York Jets might be the last time the Steelers are favored in a contest for the foreseeable future, and winning the game will be paramount for their hopes of turning things around. Having every available player healthy enough to play will be key for the Steelers. With an extended break, we won’t know much about the status of a player like Witherspoon until the team returns to practice and Mike Tomlin speaks with media on Tuesday.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers as they prepare for the Jets to invade Acrisure Stadium in Week 4.