When the Pittsburgh media was given access to the team Tuesday, it was rather surprising to hear from cornerback Senquez Golson. Golson, who injured his foot which required surgery in the second week of training camp, hasn't been around much since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
It isn't his fault he hasn't been around. A torn labrum in his shoulder ended his 2015 season before it ever began, and the Lisfranc injury which currently has him sidelined has ended some player's careers. However, according to Golson, he plans on returning in 2016, and not just returning eventually, but in 7 weeks.
"I definitely will be back this year. I'm thinking sometime in November. For sure, by the end of November, I'll be full speed back." Golson told Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
If you are like me, when you heard this declaration you got excited. When his injury was first announced as Lisfranc, there can be a wide variety of rehabilitation timelines, depending on the severity. Surgery normally equates to a more serious injury, but Golson was adamant of him being available in 2016 for the black and gold.
"I am just checking in every five weeks with the doctor and just going to see where I am going from there," said Golson, "It is a minimum of 10 weeks right now (from three weeks ago)."
Let's put aside the fact Golson has yet to have his first five week checkup and the minimum recovery is 10 weeks, but if you look at the big picture, Golson's potential return shouldn't change the Steelers approach to bringing in another player to help bolster their secondary.
The team reportedly had former cornerback Keenan Lewis in for a visit Tuesday night, and will likely keep their eye on the waiver wire as teams trim their rosters from 90 to 75, and finally to the 53-man roster. Although Keenan Lewis might not be the answer to their prayers, the thought of Golson's return should give the team little solace to the depth concerns in the defensive secondary.
Yes, Golson is a second round pick. Yes, Golson has tremendous ball skills. Yes, Golson has the look of a player who could play the slot cornerback position at the NFL level.
However, since being drafted, Golson has practiced in just a handful of sessions. Yes, we are talking about practice (insert Allen Iverson clip here). We aren't talking about Golson's limited game experience in his first two seasons because the cornerback hasn't even sniffed a preseason game, let alone a regular season contest.
In other words, the Steelers have no clue what they actually have in Golson as a contributor to the defense. They might have an idea, but the reality of the situation is no one really knows if Golson has what it takes to play at the NFL level.
Some will point to his college production, others will talk about the training camp he was having before the injury, but the fact of the matter is the Steelers simply don't know.
I hope Golson is able to come back and contribute in some way in 2016, but the Steelers have to hit the ground running finding some depth in the secondary, because Golson's situation isn't just about his health, but also about his overall ability to play the game at the highest level.