Mike Tomlin has a lot he needs to sort out before Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. Here’s the latest Steelers news and injury updates.
Many of us cringed as Kenny Pickett was slammed to the turf last week against the Baltimore Ravens. The rookie quarterback was slow to get up after the back of his head hit the ground with force. Sadly, this play resulted in the second concussion of the year for the Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick.
Concussions always make things tricky, but things get just a bit more complicated when a player has had two of them in an eight-week span. Pickett wasn’t the only player who couldn’t log a full practice on Wednesday. The latest Steelers news and injury updates will have many fans on edge.
On Wednesday, four starters were forced to sit out of practice with nagging ailments, according to the Steelers injury report. For the second straight week, RB Najee Harris (hip) and DL Larry Ogunjobi (toe) were out to begin the week. Joining them on the sidelines yesterday were TE Pat Freiermuth (toe) and LB Myles Jack (groin). While none of these injuries are believed to be serious, some of their statuses for Sunday’s game against the Panthers are a bit murky at this point.
The biggest Steelers injury news this week is that defensive lineman, Chris Wormley, is out for the season with a torn ACL. With a contract that soon expires, fans are wondering if the 29-year-old has played his last snaps in Pittsburgh.
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Kenny Pickett’s pending status really makes things difficult this week for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin confirmed that Pickett would be leading the charge if cleared from concussion protocol, but that’s not guaranteed to happen this week. Just because Pickett is allowed to practice in limited fashion does not mean he will be cleared to play. A similar scenario played out with Freiermuth earlier in the year before he was ruled out.
Interestingly, Tomlin did not close the door on the idea of Mason Rudolph starting this week. In fact, he seemed open to the idea (which is understandable after a three-interception performance from Mitch Trubisky last Sunday). A final decision is not expected to be made until late in the week.
The NFL held their winter meeting in Texas on Wednesday to discuss some possible rule changes regarding the consequences of hits to defenseless players. According to Jori Epstein of Yahoo News, executives discuss the possibilities of automatic disqualifications as well as video reviews. These new rule changes were proposed with the idea of protecting the quarterback (We know that Kenny Pickett could use that last Sunday). So far, there has not been an update on whether or not some of these proposed rule changes will be put into place or when we could expect that to occur.