The Pittsburgh Steelers were riddled with injuries in their upset win against the Buccaneers, but things are looking much brighter vs Dolphins in Week 7.
I was astonished by the performance of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most of this praise was given to a depleted secondary who outperformed all expectations last week. Despite backup cornerbacks being tasked to cover players like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, they certainly rose to the challenge and allowed just 6.1 yards per attempt for Brady in an upset win last week.
Call it a fluke if you will, but what this team was able to accomplish last week despite the injuries was nothing short of remarkable. In Week 6, the Steelers were missing four-fifths of their starting secondary along with up-and-coming tight end, Pat Freiermuth. This was in addition to missing their best player, T.J. Watt, for yet another week with a pectoral injury and knee surgery.
While recent reports suggest that Watt is still weeks away from returning to the football field, Steelers fans should be extremely encouraged by the injury report this week. After being without five key starters last week (plus rookie DL DeMarvin Leal), the team appears to be on track to getting all of them back in Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins.
Steelers injury report is encouraging vs Dolphins
This comes just in the nick of time, as the Steelers are set to face the most menacing wide receiver duo in the NFL in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle — perhaps the fastest duo ever in the NFL. Though I’ve applauded the efforts of cornerbacks James Pierre and Josh Jackson last week, the speed of the Dolphins pass-catchers would no doubt shred these backup cornerbacks in Week 7.
As of now, it looks like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Levi Wallace should all be resuming their roles in the secondary this week as they return from injuries. In addition, we all know that this team could use Pat Freiermuth back after hardly completing any passes over the middle of the field in his absence.
Not all news is good, however. Defensive lineman, Larry Ogunjobi — who is coming off arguably his best game as a Steeler so far — did not practice on Wednesday with a knee injury. Backup wide receiver and new return man, Steven Sims, also did not practice with a hamstring issue.
While we don’t know the severity of these injuries, more will come to light very soon as the Steelers prepare to face the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football. At the very least, this early Week 7 injury report is significantly more encouraging than the one we saw to begin last week. Let’s hope all of these guys can suit up in this crucial AFC matchup this week.