As if the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have enough to worry about as they prepare for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game Sunday at Gillette Stadium, they now have a stomach bug running rampant through their locker room.
A reported 15 players and front office personnel have been sick throughout the week, and the number is rising. Four players missed practice Wednesday with the illness, and Ladarius Green joined the list, and missed Thursday’s practice because of the illness.
I reached out to Dr. David Chao, MD on Twitter, former team doctor of the San Diego Chargers, and asked what the typical protocol was when this type of situation occurred. His response is below.
Teams have protocols: hand-washing, contact restrictions, isolation of sick players. Also medical treatment including IV for re-hydration. https://t.co/MA9dcIsPYR— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) January 20, 2017
Green missing practice certainly throws a wrench into his eventual return to the gridiron. Still recovering from a concussion, and in the NFL’s strict concussion protocol, Green practiced in a limited fashion Wednesday, and the protocol states the injured player has to be able to get through practices without any symptoms returning. It is unclear if Green returns to practice fully on Friday if he will be able to be cleared by an independent neurologist and be in the lineup for the AFC Championship game.
Other than the illness and Green’s concussion, the Steelers are a healthy team heading into the Sunday’s game.
Le’Veon Bell missed practice for personal reasons, and was excused from practice by head coach Mike Tomlin. James Harrison didn’t practice with his shoulder and triceps injury, this after being a full participant Wednesday, and Vince Williams was limited with a shoulder injury.
For a full injury report for both the Steelers and Patriots, see the full lists below:
LB Vince Williams (Shoulder)
K Chris Boswell (Illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle)
S Sean Davis (Shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (Illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (Ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (Illness)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (Concussion)
WR Danny Amendola (Ankle)
TE Matrellus Bennett (Knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (Knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (Shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (Thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (Knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (Knee)