Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season gets underway Thursday night and after the Monday night game concludes, Week 7 will officially begin on Tuesday. So, why is that obvious statement being written? Well, it means that Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Mike Adams is eligible to return to practice once he is deemed healthy enough to do so.
We haven’t heard much of anything about Adams since the preseason ended as he’s been on the team’s Reserve/PUP list all of this time recovering from a back surgery that took place right before the start of training camp.
The rules of the Reserve/PUP designation are quite simple. The player must sit out the first six weeks of the season for starters. After those six weeks are up, a three week window then opens during which the player must begin practicing again. If unable to do so come the end of those three weeks, he has to be released, or placed on the Reserve/Injured list, thus ending his season.
If, however, a player is able to begin practicing during that three week window, another three week window will then open at that point. Once again, by the end of that three week window, the player must be placed back on the team’s 53 man roster, placed on the Reserve/Injured list, or released.
In late July, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that Adams would be sidelined about four weeks following his surgery. That, of course, wound up not being the case. Adams reportedly had his back surgery performed on July 20, so this coming Tuesday will mark exactly three months since that took place. Assuming Adams had no major setbacks during that period of time, one would think that he should be able to begin practicing as soon as next week. If he’s unable to do so, then perhaps he did suffer some sort of setback.
I suspect that Tomlin will be asked about Adam’s status during his next Tuesday press conference, so perhaps will get more clarity at that point if the player is not asked about his own status prior to then.
Adams is currently in the final year of his rookie contract. The former second-round draft pick out of Ohio State has appeared in 41 regular-season games with 20 starts since coming into the league.