While nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet, it appears as though the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to be saddled with the unfortunate news that their 2015 second-round draft pick, cornerback Senquez Golson, may well miss the entire season with a Lisfranc injury—this after missing the entirety of his rookie season with a torn labrum.
This puts the Steelers in an obviously unfortunate situation, given that, by practice indications, they intended for him to start on the defense this season as the slot cornerback, where he has been practicing in training camp, and in the rare instances in the spring in which he was healthy enough to do so.
It is most unfortunate, of course, for Golson himself, who said last year while talking about his labrum injury that he was unused to dealing with such significant injuries, and thus was unsure of how long it might take him to recover.
The 23-year-old did mention earlier in the spring that he had a nagging shoulder injury for a few years and that, essentially, it ultimately culminated in him having surgery last year, but it did not require him to miss time during his collegiate career. As far as missing time away from football is concerned, this is a new chapter for the young man.
To recover from the shoulder injury only to come back and miss most of the spring with an undisclosed muscle injury, and then to potentially have his second season robbed with a foot injury away from contact, such a series of events could certainly take a mental toll on him.
The Steelers are, of course, familiar with having to do without some of their young high defensive draft picks in recent years. Their 2012 third-round draft pick, inside linebacker Sean Spence, missed the entirety of his first two seasons due to complications stemming from a knee injury that also included nerve damage.
When Spence return, the Steelers have moved on, replacing him with Ryan Shazier in the first round and having immediately installed him in the starting lineup, though due to injuries of his own, Spence ended up playing his fair share of snaps over the past two years before leaving in free agency in March.
Spence’s injury, however, was immediately known to be potentially career-threatening, and many would suggest that his effectiveness since returning from that knee injury is diminished. Golson’s issues come with no such likelihood of debilitation in future performance.
Still, the Steelers will have no choice but to turn to other options in the secondary now, in which Golson was intended to be an integral piece. The most immediate solution appears to be to install second-round rookie safety Sean Davis in the slot, though other options exist to the coaching staff.
I do hope that the onlookers take the time to remember that this injury affects nobody greater than it does Golson himself, and that it is through no fault of his own. Injured players tend to be subject to undue scorn for incidents beyond their control.