The Pittsburgh Steelers game on Sunday in Week 17 is completely meaningless, and their first official injury report for the upcoming game certainly reflects that basic fact.
Players like Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Gilbert and Mike Mitchell were all given the day off to rest and recover, and that trend will likely continue as the Steelers aren’t really preparing for the Browns but looking ahead to likely opponents in the first round of the playoffs.
Nonetheless, despite the game Sunday being meaningless, there was some really good news for some key players on Wednesday’s injury report. Both Ladarius Green and Sammie Coates returned to the practice field, albeit as limited participants.
This news is especially exciting for Green, who suffered a concussion in the Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, as it proves he is finally progressing through the NFL’s strict concussion protocol. I wouldn’t say there is any chance Green plays in Sunday’s game, but it is a good sign he will be healthy and ready to play in the playoffs. The key to Green moving forward is his participation moving forward, from limited to full, not the other way around.
As for Coates, his return shows his hamstring injury is starting to heal. Like Green, there is little chance Coates will play Sunday, but if he is able to practice on Wednesday it seems as if there is a strong chance Coates will be ready to go when the playoffs arrive in just over a week.
Stephon Tuitt, the other starter who was forced to sit out on Sunday due to a knee sprain, missed practice, but the hope is he will also be prepared to play after taking his second week off this Sunday.
For the full injury report for both the Steelers and Browns, see below:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle)
T Marcus Gilbert (Not Injury Related)
S Robert Golden (Ankle)
DE Ricardo Mathews (Ankle)
S Mike Mitchell (Not Injury Related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Not Injury Related)
LB Ryan Shazier (Illness)
DE Stephon Tuitt (Knee)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Trey Caldwell (Hamstring)
QB Robert Griffin (Concussion)
CB Joe Haden (Neck, Groin)
LB Cam Johnson (Groin)
RB Duke Johnson (Ankle)
T Joe Thomas (Knee)
LB Dominique Alexander (Abdomen, Groin)
LS Charley Hughlett (Hamstring)
CB Jamar Taylor (Groin)
TE Randall Telfer (Ankle, Thumb)
WR Andrew Hawkins (Finger)
WR Ricardo Louis (Thumb)
WR Terrelle Pryor (Finger)