The Pittsburgh Steelers benefited from the bye-week they earned to start the AFC Playoffs and, although they had a clean bill of health heading into Wednesday’s first official practice, that advantage didn’t last long.
The biggest concern after Wednesday’s practice was the health of cornerback Artie Burns, who reportedly left practice early with a non-contact knee injury.
Steelers CB Artie Burns left practice after suffering a non-contact right knee injury, confirmed to @TheAthleticPIT by both Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton. Burns wasn't in the locker room following practice. Sutton would start if Burns can't go on Sunday.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) January 10, 2018
The report by The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly was also reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who said all ligaments remain intact, per his sources.
This is true. I’m told the ligaments are intact. Quite a scare, though. https://t.co/RLNWQD6NPp— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 10, 2018
If need be, Burns could be replaced by rookie Cameron Sutton, but another player left practice early, and that was Stephon Tuitt. The Steelers labeled his injury as an elbow, but he reportedly was seen in a sling after practice. This could be just precautionary but, either way, Pittsburgh now has two key injuries on the defensive side of the football only days before their first playoff game.
The good news was that Antonio Brown was a full participant in practice. Brown received rave reviews from his teammates and, barring a setback, you have to figure he’s good-to-go heading into Sunday.
Check out the complete injury reports for both Pittsburgh and Jacksonville below:
CB Artie Burns (Knee)
C/G B.J. Finney (Thigh)
DE Stephon Tuitt (Elbow)
WR Antonio Brown (Calf)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
CB Aaron Colvin (Illness)
LB Telvin Smith (Ankle)
LB Paul Posluszny (Abdomen)
CB Jalen Ramsey (Achilles)
FB Tommy Bohanon (Knee)
LB Blair Brown (Ankle)
WR Jaydon Mickens (Hamstring)
TE Marcedes Lewis (Ankle)
DT Abry Jones (Ankle)
QB Blake Bortles (Right Wrist)
LB Donald Payne (Quadricep)