If you’ve read the injury reports before games, you can tell in recent weeks they have had a much more positive spin to things. Why, you ask? Simple, the team hasn’t sustained as many injuries as they had in the previous portions of the season.
No, I’m not suggesting the Steelers haven’t had their share of injuries. After all, they have already lost Markus Wheaton, Cameron Heyward, Cody Wallace, Ryan Harris and Senquez Golson for the season. Not to mention injuries to Bud Dupree, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Shazier and Marcus Gilbert who all missed several weeks with their individual injuries.
Since then, the team seems to have shaken off the injury bug, and they continue to do so after their Thanksgiving night victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Following the game, head coach Mike Tomlin talked about three players who had “bumps and bruises” following the Thursday night matchup: Javon Hargrave (hand), Ramon Foster (ankle) and Mike Mitchell (shoulder).
The extended break likely did the trio some good, as both Hargrave and Foster returned to practice Monday.
Injured #Steelers Ramon Foster and Javon Hargrave said they practiced Monday and are ready to go for Giants.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) November 28, 2016
“It feels really good, feels way better than it did Thursday,” Hargrave told Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, whose right hand was heavily taped Monday. “It's really nothing. Just little sore, banged up.”
“It was something that happened on (an extra point),” Foster said. “The (Lucas Oil Stadium) turf is bad. I didn't want to take the hit on the (extra point).”
The Steelers can ill afford a setback along the defensive line. Although they have a nice rotation now with Hargrave, L.T. Walton, Ricardo Mathews and Daniel McCullers, losing Hargrave would cripple an already depleted defensive line depth chart. However, all signs point to Hargrave being fine for Sunday’s tilt with the Giants at Heinz Field.
As for Foster, if he were to suffer a setback, the team would insert B.J. Finney at the guard position, and the rest of the offensive line would be able to stay intact. In terms of depth and talent, the offensive line would be able to withstand an injury to Foster compared to the defense losing Hargrave.
There was no report on Mitchell’s status at Monday’s practice. The team doesn’t have to officially release a practice report until Wednesday, and Hargrave and Foster both admitted on their own regarding their practice participation. Wednesday and Thursday’s practice will be a great sign as to Mitchell’s overall preparedness and health heading into Week 13.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest injury updates heading into the Giants game Sunday.