The Pittsburgh Steelers have started their training camp practice and while the offensive linemen were going through their drills, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted on twitter that four of the five starting offensive linemen were wearing knee braces. The only lineman not wearing knee braces is right tackle Mike Adams, according to his report.
Four of 5 Steelers starting OL are wearing knee braces on both knees. Mike Adams only one not.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) July 28, 2013
This very well might be the norm during practice for Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, but being as Kaboly pointed it, it could be an extra attempt by the four to further protect themselves from a serious knee injury. A lot of offensive linemen have said in the past they prefer not to wear knee braces, especially during games, as it restricts their ability to move. For lineman that have had serious knee injuries in the past, however, such is the case with DeCastro, it\’s a little more common.
On Sunday afternoon it was reported that Denver Broncos center Dan Koppen went down in practice with a knee injury and now Jeff Legwold reports that he indeed suffered a torn ACL. It\’s just another sobering reminder of how quickly a player can be lost for the season even in practice, let alone in a game.
Maybe Kaboly will follow up the knee brace story with the Steelers offensive linemen and get their thoughts on their decisions to wear them. I think it would be unique angle that hasn\’t been covered in a while, especially not with the Steelers.
Who knows, maybe they are just wearing them to protect themselves from Gilbert and Gilbert just followed suit. I\’m kidding, I\’m kidding.
ETA: I had forgotten that Kaboly actually did a story on knee braces last year. If you missed it, here it is.