The Pittsburgh Steelers were relatively healthy heading into their Week 1 game against the New England Patriots, and they left Foxborough in nearly the same shape as they arrived. After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin noted only two injuries: a hamstring injury to Sean Spence and a potential concussion for safety Will Allen.
The hamstring injury to Spence impacts a position at which the Steelers might be the deepest, in terms of quality depth. Vince Williams, who had to sit out of two preseason games due to his own hamstring injury, will have to step up and fill in as the backup for both the mack and buck linebacker positions, in case Ryan Shazier or Lawrence Timmons were to be lost due to injury, if Spence is lost for any amount of time.
Speaking of Timmons, the hope is, as he didn't leave the field of play, that his turf toe injury could be a thing of the past. Despite turf toe injuries tending to pop up without adequate rest, the hope is that Timmons' injury is on the mend.
The other injury to safety Will Allen is much more problematic on many levels. Allen was inserted into the starting safety position alongside Mike Mitchell, and if he were to be lost for any extended period, it would equate to Shamarko Thomas and/or Robert Golden seeing more playing time. The coaching staff doesn't show much confidence in those two players, and the safety play has been an issue with the Steelers since training camp began more than a month ago.
To compound Allen's absence from the lineup is the unknown factor of how long Allen will be forced to sit out, if he does have a concussion. If Allen is diagnosed with a concussion, the timetable for his return would be anything but cut and dried. Some players are able to get over a concussion within a week, but others might take months. There's simply no black-and-white diagnosis.
In other injury news, there was no report of any setback with regard to DT Stephon Tuitt's ankle, which is a good sign for this team moving forward. The Steelers will now have an extended break before they host the San Francisco 49ers at Heinz Field next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.