The Pittsburgh Steelers have injuries that are starting to mount up, but here’s why just a few losses could be so devastating against the Buccaneers.
It’s still unclear which players will be available for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6, but early signs on the injury report are not looking encouraging. After Mike Tomlin’s team was without players like Terrell Edmunds and Ahkello Witherspoon last week, Pittsburgh was embarrassed with their worst loss since 1989.
It would be surprising if things went quite as poorly in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but this is still a formidable opponent that is heavily favored heading into Sunday’s matchup, according to Fanduel Sportsbook. Missing some key players against Tom Brady and one of the toughest defenses in the league this year could prove to be disastrous.
As of Wednesday, the Steelers were missing a whopping eight players from practice: CB Cameron Sutton, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, CB Levi Wallace, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, DT Montravius Adams, C Mason Cole, TE Zach Gentry, and DT Larry Ogunjobi. Additionally, Pat Freiermuth was limited as he looks to clear concussion protocol as was Diontae Johnson with a hip injury. Terrell Edmunds practiced in full after being absent with a concussion against the Bills.
Steelers injuries in the secondary are a big concern right now
Obviously, the most concerning thing here is that all three of Pittsburgh’s top cornerbacks did not practice to begin the week. This will become very concerning if they don’t make it back by Friday’s final practice. The Steelers are facing Tom Brady and a talented group of wide receivers this week, and the Hall of Fame quarterback could have a field day against this secondary that surrendered 424 yards and 4 interceptions to Josh Allen last week.
Additionally, Minkah Fitzpatrick’s presence on the Steelers injury report is a bit concerning, though his knee issue doesn’t appear to be serious. Even if most of these players suit up on Sunday, they will have nearly a fourth of their starting lineup returning from being banged up and with very limited time to prepare for this crucial Week 6 content.
The worst part about all of this is that the Pittsburgh Steelers cannot afford injuries like some other teams can. Because their depth around the roster is so weak, being forced to rely heavily on players like Arthur Maulet, Josh Jackson, and Tre Norwood is going to get them killed.
Even with their starters healthy, this just isn’t a very talented Steelers team. We found out just how important T.J. Watt was to Pittsburgh’s success since his absence. Pittsburgh simply cannot get any sort of consistent pressure without him.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have a stingy defense and a quarterback in Tom Brady who has had Pittsburgh’s number for roughly two decades. This is already going to be a crazy uphill battle, and the Steelers are going to need all hands on deck. Friday’s injury report is going to be of dire importance. Stay tuned!