As far as injury news go, this sits somewhere inbetween. Not sparkling, not horrific.
Marcus Gilbert told the media today that he suffered a hyperextended elbow and may need surgery after the season. But he remained hopeful and is on track to suit up Week One against Washington.
Ray Fittipaldo and Missi Matthews sent out the first news.
Gilbert also told Fittipaldo he is going to meet with Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
The Steelers’ right tackle suffered the injury in the second quarter of the third preseason game, a 27-14 win over the New Orleans Saints. It’s impossible to tell exactly what happened, the TV broadcasts never get a clear look at it, but Gilbert was engaged in pass protection and appeared to be yanked forward.
If he isn’t available, Ryan Harris will replace him at right tackle.
Gilbert started all 16 games last year for the Steelers, serving as one of the league’s most underrated tackles and definite Pro Bowl material, though he was never officially invited. He’s played hurt and shown toughness before, gutting out the 2013 season with a bad ankle. But his effectiveness clearly dropped and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be able to recapture the stellar play he attained in 2015.
Injuries are nothing new in his football resume. In 2011, he suffered a shoulder injury that ended in surgery. The next year, he hyperextended his knee, recovered, and then injured his ankle a month later, prompting surgery. In 2014, he missed four games with a concussion. And he underwent cleanout surgery on his ankle again this past January.