The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with early offseason injuries on the defensive line.
The Steelers defensive line is one of their strong suits on the defensive side of the ball. Lining up in base packages, the Steelers have from left to right: Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, and Cameron Heyward. Heading into the third week of OTAs, there are injury questions with all three players.
Stephon Tuitt was the Steelers 2014 second-round pick out of Notre Dame. I was surprised that he fell to the middle of the second-round and I think he has lived up to that draft status. The Steelers would be happy to sign him to an extension that is maybe in the eight million-dollar-a-year cap hit range. Along with being a good player on the field, he has built a good reputation with the Steelers.
Tuitt is currently sidelined after recovering from hand surgery, according to Ed Bouchette.
This stated that Tuitt was sidelined while he recovers from hand surgery. My guess is it is an injury that happened last year. On the bright side, it does not look like he will miss any of the regular season.
Javon Hargrave was a hit as a third-round pick last year. He immediately won the Nose Tackle job and had a decent year as a rookie. Hargrave has the pass rushing ability the Steelers would want from their subpackage defense; so, the hope is that he can give Tuitt and Heyward a breather in subpackage football.
According to Dale Lolley of the Observer Reporter, Javon Hargrave has a shoulder injury. The reports are not clear, but it does not sound like it is serious.
Cameron Heyward is also on the defensive line and is one of their defensive captains. He spent the end of 2016 on injured reserve but is practicing in OTAs.
All of these injuries are not serious enough to worry fans especially since all three have NFL starting experience. However, it’d be nice to get their defensive line back together for training camp so that they can have a stellar defensive line in 2017.