After the game, Mike Tomlin mentioned only two names of players who were injured during the game. Defensive end Ricardo Mathews (ankle) and cornerback Justin Gilbert (shoulder) were the only players named, and both injuries will be evaluated in the coming days.
Rookie defensive tackle Javon Hargrave left the game in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion, but was able to return to the game before finally being removed, likely by the coaches to prevent further injury. It looks as if Hargrave did not suffer a concussion, but symptoms could certainly present themselves between now and when the team starts their official preparation for the playoffs, especially with him experiencing a concussion just a few weeks ago.
Tomlin stated he will update the media with the injury situation on Tuesday, but with Mathews re-injuring his ankle, and Hargrave’s potential concussion issues, they could be extremely thin along the defensive line in the AFC Wild Card round.
Although Mathews’ injury puts an increased focus on the defensive front, there are other, much bigger, injuries the team has to hope were rectified by resting them in Week 17. Those injuries would be Stephon Tuitt (knee), Ladarius Green (concussion) and Sammie Coates (hamstring). None of the above players played in the game Sunday, although Coates did dress, and the hope is they will all be healthy and available when the Miami Dolphins come to Heinz Field for the AFC Wild Card game.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest injury news, updates and more as the Steelers prepare for the playoffs.