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Steelers Injury Report: Cam Heyward high ankle sprain could jeopardize Week 1 status

The Pittsburgh Steelers witnessed one of their defensive captains in Cam Heyward go down with a high ankle sprain Friday night against the Saints, but will he be ready to play in Week 1?

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows the NFL preseason is a case of meaningless exhibition games, but when players get injured in these contests it can be extremely frustrating.

In 2015 the Pittsburgh Steelers had their share of injuries before the "real games" started. Maurkice Pouncey was lost for the season with a broken ankle, Shaun Suisham lost for the year with an ACL tear, Garrett Hartley was sidelined with a hamstring injury and a couple other lesser known players all suffered injuries which put their season, and careers, on hold.

So on Friday night, when the Steelers invaded New Orleans to play the Saints, and fans everywhere watched their defensive captain Cameron Heyward laying on the ground as his right ankle was being tended to by the medical personnel, everyone thought the same thing, "Here we go again..."

However, after the game, it was announced Heyward suffered a high ankle sprain, but the severity of the sprain had yet to be seen.

As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, Heyward thinks he will play in Week 1, but high ankle sprains are anything but a guarantee, especially with 16 days until the season officially begins.

Former San Diego Chargers team doctor, and now injury analyst, David J. Chao talked about Heyward's injury on his official Twitter account.

For those who don't follow Dr. Chao, he is pretty spot-on with his injury analysis, even by watching behind a screen of some sort. The Steelers are hoping this is the case as Heyward is a key part of the team's defense. He and Stephon Tuitt look to pick up where they left off in 2015 as the first and second sack leaders on the team.

Look for Heyward to to hit the rehab hard in the coming days, all in hopes of being able to suit up when the games really count. If not, look for Ricardo Mathews, L.T. Walton and Javon Hargrave to help fill the void in his absence.