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Steelers Injury Report: Ladarius Green begins to work his way back from protocol—again

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, and there’s a sliver of hope that their prized free-agent acquisition might be back on the field for the big game.

NFL: New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Loyal fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers most likely read this headline and rolled their eyes. After all, this isn’t the first time the fan base has been teased by a potential Ladarius Green return.

After suffering a concussion in Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Green has yet to return to the field, but he did return to practice before the team’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs.

That week, Green practiced on both Wednesday and Thursday, and he seemed set to return, but then suffered a setback after Thursday’s practice and regressed in accordance with the NFL’s strict concussion protocol.

Fast forward to the present and Green has returned to practice once again, albeit in a limited capcity. But before fans get pumped about his return, they should realize a few things need to happen before he officially can be allowed to play again. First, he needs to be free of any symptoms following practice, so Thursday’s practice report will be very important. Second, if he can be upgraded to full participation, it would put him on the right track to return, but he’ll need to maintain that level of participation throughout the week to make him available on Sunday. Lest you think that would suffice, he still would need to clear all of the necessary tests from an independent neurologist before being permitted to get back on the gridiron.

While the majority of the attention, and rightfully so, surrounds Green, an illness apparently is sweeping its way through the Steelers team. Chris Boswell, B.J. Finney, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Zach Mettenberger all missed practiced due to illness. thus, quarantining these players to prevent the illness from spreading further will be important moving into Sunday’s big game.

Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberer were given the day off, while Vince Williams and Sean Davis sat out with shoulder injuries.

Anthony Chickillo was limited with his ankle injury and Mike Mitchell was given a partial day off. James Harrison, Ricardo Mathews and Fitzgerald Toussaint were all full participants and they look ready to play on Sunday, barring any setback.

For the complete Injury Report, see below:
(Editor’s Note: At the time of publishing, the Patriots’ official injury report had not been released to the Steelers official website.)

Pittsburgh

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Le'Veon Bell (Not Injury Related)
K Chris Boswell (Illness)
S Sean Davis (Shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (Illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Illness)
QB Zach Mettenberger (Illness)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Not Injury Related)
LB Vince Williams (Shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle)
TE Ladarius Green (Concussion)
S Mike Mitchell (Not Injury Related)

FULL PARTICIPATION
LB James Harrison (Shoulder, Triceps)
DE Ricardo Mathews (Ankle)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion)