Cameron Heyward insists his injury is minor, says ‘I’ll be fine’
Cameron Heyward gave us a scare during training camp practice, but the Pittsburgh Steelers star assures us his injury is very insignificant.
I held my breath when Cameron Heyward went down in pain early in Thursday’s practice. It was the final day at Steelers training camp as Pittsburgh prepared for their second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and this was the last thing we wanted to see. Eventually, Heyward was able to get up and make his way off the field under his own power.
After hitching a cart ride to the Steelers locker room to get his left ankle looked at by Pittsburgh’s head trainer, Heyward later showed up back on the sidelines of the practice field at Saint Vincent college wearing street clothes.
Heyward admitted that he got his ankle rolled up on during the third play of team sessions, but he insists that he is going to be just fine and that the steps they took following were simply precautionary. Here’s what he had to say as reporter Josh Rowntree caught up with him late in yesterday’s practice session:
Heyward certainly seemed optimistic. In fact, he practically shook off the ankle injury as if it was nothing at all. By all accounts, Heyward’s injury appears to be just a very mild ankle sprain.
Steelers will likely be cautious with Heyward
If this were a regular-season game coming up, Heyward could probably return to the field this weekend after getting his ankle taped up. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to. If something like this was to occur, we can be thankful that it came during the preseason.
With two exhibition games remaining, my guess is that coach Mike Tomlin simply shuts Cam Heyward down until the start of the regular season when the Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Heyward is a seasoned veteran who doesn’t need the practice reps over the next two preseason games to be ready for Week 1.
After sitting out the first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Heyward was expected to see action with the first-team defense early in this Saturday’s contest against the Jaguars, but there’s no reason to rush him back to the field.
Of course, this will mean that Heyward could miss all three preseason games this year. Even if he has to shake off some rust early against the Bengals in Week 1, I would expect the three-time All-Pro to get up to speed quickly.
I know that Cameron Heyward would take the field tomorrow if the Steelers asked him, but even with just a mild sprain, it seems likely that Tomlin will shut him down until the opener. There’s no sense in risking reaggravating his injury in meaningless exhibition action.