This is the last thing you want to see happen before the start of the season. As the Pittsburgh Steelers took the field for their first fully-padded practice (fifth overall session), the crowd at Saint Vincent College was revved up and ready to go. But the mood changed when Cory Trice Jr. went down on the field and could not get back up under his own power.
After a defensive rep in 11-on-11 drills late in practice, the crowd whooped and hollered over a big hit from Kwon Alexander on Jordan Byrd until they realized that Trice was injured. Eventually, the Steelers rookie cornerback was helped onto the cart as he headed off to get his leg examined.
This is awful news for a player who has dealt with so many significant injuries in the past. During his first four seasons at Purdue, Trice combined to play in just 17 total games, as injuries continually cut his seasons short.
Trice suffered an ACL tear early in the 2021 season and he wore a brace on his knee to begin the 2022 season in order to avoid any setbacks. After a remarkably redshirt-senior season this past year, many thought that Trice could be in line to be selected on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. That didn't turn out to be the case.
In terms of size, athletic traits, and instincts, Trice has everything a team could ask for. However, his past injury history was so concerning that every other team steered clear of him in the 2023 NFL Draft -- which is why Pittsburgh was able to nab him in the seventh round.
For a talented player who was about to play with a chip on his shoulder, this is a disheartening setback. The injury is being labeled as a leg/knee issue for the time being. Let's hope that this isn't as severe as it looks.
Prior to the injury, Cory Trice Jr. was having a solid training camp and looked to be in line for a roster spot. He and Joey Porter Jr. were forming a bond on the field, and you can see the distress in Porter's reaction as his friend hobbled off the field. Stay with us for updates on his status.