The Pittsburgh Steelers were back practicing on Monday after being off last week for their bye and it looks most of the injured players will indeed make it back for the home game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
According to Teresa Varley of steelers.com, linebacker Ryan Shazier, safety Troy Polamalu and safety Shamarko Thomas were all back on the practice field Monday.
“It felt great just going out there and being able to practice today,” said Shazier, according to the report. “It felt good just to be out there. The bye week helped us out a lot. We are getting a lot of guys back. We still have days left so we will see how everybody feels. It’s great when you have the whole team back.
“Getting back out there was a blessing. I did more than I expected and that was great. Lately I come in after practice not sweating, today I am tired and sweating and it feels good. It means I have been working.”
Shazier has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and in total he’s missed six games this season. With Saints tight end Jimmy Graham on his way to Pittsburgh this coming Sunday, Shazier’s return to the lineup probably couldn’t have been timed any better.
As previously reported, the Steelers were also able to get linebacker Jarvis Jones back on the practice field Monday. While Jones isn’t expected to play against the Saints, one would think that he might have a shot at being ready to at least contribute on special teams as soon as the Week 14 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now that he’s back practicing again, the Steelers have three weeks to decide whether or not to put him back on the 53 man roster.
“I got a lot of reps today so it felt pretty good,” said Jones. “I’ll see how I feel Wednesday when we get into pads. Hopefully I will get to see what it really feels like, a little more physical. I feel good.”
Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon wasn’t mentioned by Varley in her Monday report, however, so we’ll have to wait and see if head coach Mike Tomlin mentions him Tuesday during his press conference. Judging by the comments that McLendon made last week, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be ready to play against the Saints as he continues to rehab the shoulder injury that has caused him to miss a total of three games this season.