When it comes to a wide receiver’s “money makers”, it would be his hands.
Although some hate to admit it, Pittsburgh Steelers wide out Sammie Coates was dealing with a severe hand injury after his breakout performance against the New York Jets in Week 5 of the 2016 regular season.
The injury wasn’t bad enough to have him placed on season-ending injured reserve, but he wasn’t the same player after that game.
There were games where Coates didn’t register a single offensive snap, playing just special teams. While Todd Haley regularly referred to Coates’ ability to mentally get over the injury, one has to wonder the toll it took not just on the receiver’s hand, but also his confidence.
Either way, Coates underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the hand, as he posted on his verified Twitter account.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler gave more insight on the injury itself, quoting damage to Coates’ ring and index finger, and not just fractures but also ligament damage.
Steelers WR Sammie Coates underwent surgery to repair fractures/tendon damage in his left ring and index fingers...https://t.co/hBTzRidxH8— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 31, 2017
2017 will mark Coates’ third year in the league, and he has a lot to prove if he wants to remain in Pittsburgh for the duration of his rookie contract. With Martavis Bryant hopeful to return to the team next season, along with Antonio Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Eli Rogers, Demarcus Ayers and Cobi Hamilton, Coates will have to make plays to see playing time.
Let’s hope the injured hand, and not his psyche, was the reason for his drop off in production, and a rebound season is on deck in 2017.