When it comes to practice sessions for any NFL team, a player missing practice Wednesday is fairly normal for players in the month of December. After all, the rigors of a full NFL regular season can tear down the most trained physique, especially veterans.
#Steelers Practice Report DNP: RB Williams (ill), S Mitchell (shoulder), LB Shazier (knee), S Allen (maint.) Limited: LB Dupree (back)— Chris Bradford (@BCTBradford) December 17, 2015
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, several veterans were given Wednesday off as a maintenance day, but when Thursday practice rolls around most are expected to join their teammates on the practice field. Some returned to work Thursday, while others remained sidelined due to injury, or illness.
Running back DeAngelo Williams was added to the injury report due to an illness, and did not practice. Joining Williams on the sideline were Mike Mitchell, who continues to nurse a shoulder injury, Ryan Shazier, with a knee injury, and Will Allen, who was given another maintenance day from Mike Tomlin.
The good news for the Steelers on the injury front was rookie OLB Bud Dupree (back) returning to practice on a limited basis. Heath Miller (ribs) and Matt Spaeth (knee) both returned to practice Thursday.
Williams is the headline of the injury report, but it would be extremely rare if he is unable to play on Sunday against Denver in the regular season home finale. The main concern for fans should be the health of Shazier and Mitchell. Those two players represent a large part of what the Steelers do on the defensive side of the football, and them missing time will leave an already porous defense with some large holes to fill.
Friday is when NFL teams release their final injury report and label players as Out, Doubtful, Questionable or Probable. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for all the breaking news surrounding the black and gold.