Following more physical practices, the Pittsburgh Steelers have seen several unexpected injuries pop up among veteran and rookie players. On Monday, head coach Mike Tomlin said that he took players out of pads so that the team can get some much-needed rest and take Tuesday off. The Steelers have suffered one season-ending injury thus far when rookie Nik Embernate, an offensive guard, tore his anterior-cruciate ligament and MCL in his right knee. Embernate was waived and the Steelers signed unrestricted free agent tackle D'Anthony Batiste (recently with the Arizona Cardinals).
In this report, we will examine some of the pre-season injuries. While pre-season injuries are not uncommon, the Steelers have been plagued by them in the past few years. Of note was the season-ending injury to rookie David DeCastro during the first pre-season game for the Steelers in 2012. While DeCastro has been working his way back into training camp play this year, the Steelers have to worry about the fact that players, like Embernate, may or may not make it into pre-season and regular season play. Veteran Guy Whimper will also compete for a spot with the team. Neither Batiste or Whimper have great protection experience.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have seen several unexpected injuries pop up among veteran and rookie players. On Friday, Peter King of Sports Illustrated shared a Twitter message saying, "Steelers far more physical in this evening practice, w/ tackling and not just 'thud' stops, than at any of our previous 8 stops."
Linebacker Jason Worilds has a toe injury that is considered not to be serious. It has allowed rookie Jarvis Jones to step in and prove his worth as a first-round draft pick to the Steelers. This isn't the first time Worilds has struggled with injuries. Undrafted rookie Adrian Robinson and Alan Baxter may see more repetitions.
Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell suffered a bruised knee, but is expected to heal quickly.
Other players that were non-participants in practice on Monday were: Curtis McNeal, Plaxico Burress, Ross Ventrone, Terry Hawthorne, Jarvis Jones, DeMarcus VanDyke, Cortez Allen, Steve McLendon, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Lawrence Timmons, and Curtis Brown. Many were not listed as injured, but Brown had to be removed from training camp on a cart Monday due to an ankle injury. Troy Polamalu also stood on the sidelines due to an injury to his "birth certificate" according to head coach Mike Tomlin. While Polamalu isn't really searching for his birth certificate, it appears that Tomlin is referring to something that is not serious and expects Polamalu to be back soon. VanDyke has a hamstring injury. Hawthorne and Stephens-Howling have knee injuries.
On a positive note, Matt Spaeth, Nick Williams and Larry Foote did return on Monday for training camp practice. Alameda Ta'Amu has been taken of the PUP list.
While changes are not expected in how the Steelers prepare for their first pre-season game on Sat., August 10 versus the New York Giants (televised on KDKA-TV), Tomlin said on Sunday, "I like the energy and enthusiasm. The guys are really getting into the rhythm of this thing and we are seeing the results of it. They are developing the skill that is going to be required of us to be good, and just generally from an effort standpoint, they are doing a nice job of fighting through."
The Steelers will hold their next practice on Wednesday.
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