The saga of Pittsburgh Steelers free agent signing Ladarius Green has already been a long and trying one—for none more so than Green himself, to be sure—and I’m not sure that there is an obvious end in sight. The fifth-year tight end was signed early in the offseason to replace the retired Heath Miller, the team knowing full well that he was recovering from offseason ankle surgery.
There have since been reports after training camp opened of a variety of sorts. On-hand observers have noted Green’s sideline ‘workouts’ being far from robust, and he seemed to hang his head at times while doing so. It has also been said that he is battling symptoms of concussions that he suffered last year, though head coach Mike Tomlin has said that nobody is in the concussion protocol. If he were having recurring headaches, I would think it would be a mandatory action—the Cardinals just placed John Brown in the protocol for a similar reason.
If it’s not headaches, then—and I’m not speculating definitely whether or not it is a factor—it has to be the ankle on which he had surgery, and which he himself has been saying in recent days is the issue, in contrast to what his agent told NFL reporters a short while ago.
Based on those who have observed him, however, the idea that his ankle has been coming along slower than anticipated certainly sounds reasonable, and he never looked very impressive, let alone explosive, while at St Vincent College.
Yesterday, though, Chris Bradford talked to Green for the Beaver County Times, and the tight end confirmed to him that he “was practicing get-offs and cuts with a resistance band tethered to a pillar outside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex”.
This is something that we were not in observance of at all during his stay in Latrobe, so this at least appears to be a step forward in his rehabilitation progress, or so one would hope, bringing him a step closer to football activities.
“It’s helping me with the push off on my ankle and putting weight on it”, he told Bradford. “It’s helping me get more explosive”, adding, “it had a lot of resistance on it”.
Green also confirmed that working with the resistance band was something that he just began doing yesterday. “I’m usually trying to master different stuff instead of me doing the same thing every day”, he said.
While the journey has been hectic thus far for Green and the Steelers, the newcomer to the team does feel he is getting better every day. Still, that has not brought us any closer to a conclusion as to when we might finally see him on the field.
He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform List, and it is certainly not out of the question that he might start the season there, which would require that he miss at least the first six games of the season. Will the resistance training help speed things along, and if so, how much? Time will tell.