The Injury Report for the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into Week 15 has been interesting. The most intriguing aspect of the report is simply how so many players dealing with concussions are still practicing.
Although Javon Hargrave and B.J. Finney both are still dealing with their concussions, they’ve been full participants at practice while remaining under the NFL’s strict concussion protocol. When fans saw this occur after Wednesday’s practice, some were asking how it could be possible.
Every concussion is different, but most protocols to return are very similar. The person suffering the brain injury first has to wait for their symptoms to subside. Once this takes place, the athlete then starts returning to exercise. Most of the time this starts as light workouts, slowly increasing to a return to the practice field.
At every step of this process, the medical staff is constantly checking for recurring symptoms. If that happens, the player has to go backwards in the protocol and then work his way back. However, in this case, Hargrave and Finney both are clearly at the point where, although they’re still being monitored, they’ve been cleared to practice. But this doesn’t mean they’ve been released from the protocol yet.
In other words, barring a setback, the Steelers will likely have both Hargrave and Finney at their disposal against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15.
Other than these two injuries, it looks like another week without Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) and Shamarko Thomas (concussion), but DeAngelo Williams (knee), who was a full participant on Wednesday, missed Thursday’s workout.
Ramon Foster (chest) was a full participant again, and Marcus Gilbert (ankle) was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday.
The Steelers will release their final injury report Friday for the 1 p.m. EDT kickoff at Paul Brown Stadium. See the full injury reports for both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati below.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DE Wallace Gilberry (Calf)
DE Margus Hunt (Not Injury Related)
G Clint Boling (Shoulder)
WR A.J. Green (Hamstring)
S Derron Smith (Thigh)
TE C.J. Uzomah (Calf)
DE Carlos Dunlap (Neck)
LS Clark Harris (Groin)
CB Adam Jones (Ankle)
WR Brandon LaFell (Knee)
WR James Wright (Knee)