Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t ask for a week off last Sunday, but it helped them with some of their injured players.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans were slated to go head-to-head in Week 4, but that all changed when a coronavirus outbreak hit the Titans’ locker room. It was then the Steelers’ Week 8 bye turned into a Week 4 bye as the NFL moved the Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee game to Week 7.
The impromptu bye week wasn’t planned, but it doesn’t mean it was worthless either. The Steelers did get several days of practice in, preparing for the Titans, but also were able to get some of their injured players back to health.
The biggest name on the list would be wide receiver Diontae Johnson. Johnson left the Week 3 game vs. the Houston Texans early with a concussion, and was subsequently entered into the league’s protocol. During Mike Tomlin’s Tuesday press conference he said Johnson has been cleared from the protocol is prepared to play in Week 5.
The other injuries of note are two players dealing with lower body injuries and are hoping the extra week off gave them a chance to get back on the field this Sunday.
Fullback Derek Watt (hamstring) has started to run, as a part of his rehabilitation, but his overall potential to play this Sunday vs. the Eagles will be based on his body’s ability to recover, and his ability to get on the practice field and show he is available.
Safety/ILB Marcus Allen (foot) also has started running, but not on land. He has been running in the pool and the team is hoping to get him back on the turf soon to see how far he has come in recovering from his foot injury which would have sidelined him last Sunday if the team played in Nashville.
Outside of those injuries, Tomlin said the team is healthy and only dealing with the “bumps and bruises associated with the game of football”. Considering the team is coming off a bye week, they seem to be pretty healthy heading into the game Sunday at Heinz Field.
For the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Week 5, stay tuned to BTSC.
Want a full breakdown of Mike Tomlin’s press conference? Check out the Recap podcast below: