The Pittsburgh Steelers will hold their first training camp practice of 2015 on Sunday and they’ll do so with several players on the PUP list.
Following the team’s annual conditioning run, head coach Mike Tomlin said during his first training camp press conference that quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder), tackle Mike Adams (back), linebacker Shawn Lemon (Achilles), center Maurkice Pouncey (foot) and cornerback Senquez Golson (shoulder) will all start off camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Of those five players, Adams’ appears to the one who will miss the most time. Tomlin said the tackle had a back procedure done on July 20 that will lead to him being out around four weeks. The injury is a lingering one according to Tomlin and the team decided to get it taken care of. Adams is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2015.
“It’s been something that he’s been dealing with off and on and we got it evaluated and we decided to put it behind us,” Tomlin said of Adams’ back injury.
With Adams sidelined for an extended amount of time, Alejandro Villanueva figures to get plenty of reps in his absence. Villanueva spent all of 2014 on the Steelers practice squad after he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles at the conclusion of the preseason. In addition to Villanueva, tackles Kevin Whimpey, Kelvin Palmer and Mitchell Van Dyk all stand to benefit from Adams being sidelined. Palmer was just added to the the 90-man roster on Friday while Whimpey and Van Dyk have both been with the team all throughout the offseason.
As for Pouncey, his right foot sprain happened during training, according to Tomlin. He is expected to miss a few days at the start training camp and Tomlin said he believes the injury is minor. With Pouncey sidelined, Cody Wallace should get the bulk of the work at center with the first-team offense.
“No real update or anticipated lengths of time with these guys other than Mike Adams,” said Tomlin. “That’s pretty definitive because he had a back procedure that requires about four weeks of rehabilitation before he’s ready to go.”
Once a player practices with a team during training camp, they are no longer eligible to be placed on the PUP list. For the players who start training camp on the list, they will be eligible for the Reserve PUP list at the start of the regular season as long as they have never been removed from the Active PUP list during training camp.