The media finally caught up with Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green on Saturday to ask him not only about the current status of his surgically repaired ankle, but also about recent national reports that recurring headaches from previous concussions he suffered are the real reason why he’s yet to be removed from the team’s Active PUP list, where he’s been since he arrived at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for the start of this year’s training camp.
If you have watched the video of Saturday’s interview that’s currently posted on steelers.com, it appears as though Green’s head was spinning as he was bombarded by several different questions from the media not only about his ankle, but the concussion and headache reports as well.
“I don’t know what reports those are,” said Green when asked if there’s any truth to the recent report that he’s currently dealing with headaches. “I’m still on PUP because of my ankle.”
When asked if he’s had concussion issues over the last couple of weeks and months, Green deflected a bit in his answer.
“I’ve still been rehabbing on my ankle, so I haven’t been dealing with anything else but that,” the tight end said.
Immediately after Green signed with the Steelers this past March, he was asked about the three concussions he had reportedly suffered during a span of 10 months with the San Diego Chargers during his first official session with the Pittsburgh media.
“It came out as a concussion but I just had sinus problems, so it wasn’t a concussion,” said Green at the time. “It was just the sinuses that got bad and they didn’t know about it so it’s fine now.”
Green was reminded of those March comments on Saturday and this time he backed off of his claim that problems with his sinuses possibly caused him to be misdiagnosed when it came to his latest concussion that he had reportedly suffered early last season.
“Last year, I don’t know what it was,” said a shrugging Green. “I’m not a doctor, so I couldn’t tell you.”
Green was also asked Saturday if he felt he had bad concussion problems last year.
“I don’t think I had bad concussion problems, no,” he said. “I had some, but I don’t think it’s bad.”
Several reports over the course of last week or so have indicated that Green was, or currently still is, in concussion protocol. However, when asked recently if he currently has any players on his roster who are in concussion protocol, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he didn’t and that Green is currently on PUP because of his ankle.
Being as Green was allowed to talk to the media on Saturday, one could easily speculate that the young tight end isn’t currently in concussion protocol because of the Madden Rule, which states that once a player is diagnosed with a suspected concussion, he is not permitted to meet or talk with the press until he is medically cleared. Now, does that rule apply to offseason situations such as the one Green could possibly be going through? I’m not really sure to be honest with you.
For now, Green appears set to stick with the company line as it relates to his ankle being the reason he’s still on the Steelers PUP list even though his agent has agent reportedly told Aditi Kinkhabwala otherwise a short time ago.
“The ankle’s still not 100 percent yet, it’s still not there, so I don’t know how that came out,” Green said Saturday when asked about the comments his agent recently made to the contrary. “So he didn’t say nothing to me about that.”
Wow, that certainly was a confusing response.
In the end, Green says he has no plans to retire like other recent reports have suggested and that he currently still doesn’t have a timetable on when he might be removed from the team’s PUP list.
“No, the ankles still not 100 percent yet,” said Green. “It’s still not there, there’s still stuff I’ve got to work on, there’s still stuff I’m pushing towards, but it’s getting better.”
With two preseason games now remaining for the Steelers, Green wasn’t ready to say whether or not he’ll be ready for the Monday night regular season road opener against the Washington Redskins.
“I mean, I really don’t know,” said Green. We’re still taking it day-by-day like I said, so there’s really no timetable to tell right now.”
If we learned anything during Green’s Saturday session with the media it’s that, like the Steelers fan base, he’s frustrated about not being able to get himself out on the practice field just yet in order to start getting himself ready to show he’s worthy of the four-year, $20 million free agent contract that he signed with the team in March.
“I believe its effecting me a lot, because I’m getting frustrated not being out there with the team, watching them every day,” said Green. “So it’s getting pretty tough on that, but I still got to learn mentally, still got to focus and pick up on stuff and work on myself.”
At this point, you can probably go ahead and assume that Green won’t play in the Steelers final two preseason games and if that indeed winds up being the case, there will then be a good chance that he’s ultimately placed on Reserve PUP come the start of the regular season. Such a transaction would require that Green miss the first six games of the 2016 season.
When Tomlin meets with the media this week ahead of the Steelers third preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, you can probably expect him to continue to say that Green is still on PUP because of his ankle and not for any other reason. However, it would be interesting to see him asked about the Madden Rule and if applies to all players regardless of what time of year players are placed in concussion protocol.
Watching Green’s Saturday media session certainly made my head hurt.