Due to him still being on the team’s Active PUP list, new Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green will obviously miss the Friday night preseason opener against the Detroit Lions. Additionally, one can probably go ahead and count on Green missing the team’s second preseason game next Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles as well.
According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, however, recurring headaches are currently keeping Green off the practice field and on Active PUP and not his surgically repaired ankle.
“His ankle is fine,” Green’s agent, Adisi Bakara, reportedly said Wednesday night, according to Kinkhabwala.
When Green signed with the Steelers he was asked about previous concussions he had reportedly suffered while with the San Diego Chargers.
“It came out as a concussion but I just had sinus problems, so it wasn’t a concussion,” said Green. “It was just the sinuses that got bad and they didn’t know about it so it’s fine now.”
Reports indicate that Green was diagnosed with two concussions in 11 days last September.
With Green yet to be able to practice with Steelers since being signed to a four-year, $20 million contract this past March, some are starting to wonder if he’ll be ready to go by the start of the 2016 regular season.
“A sense has lingered over the past couple of weeks that Green isn’t close to being ready to play for the Steelers, and that he may never be,” Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote Thursday morning.
Whether or not Green will be ready for the Steelers opener against the Washington Redskins is yet to be seen, but it’s worth noting that he’s been spotted working on the side fields with members of the team’s medical staff quite frequently since training camp got underway. Additionally, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has stated several times over the course of the last few weeks that the former Chargers tight end is right on schedule with his rehab and that they knew the length of time it might take for him to finally see the field when they originally signed him.
“We signed Ladarius and now he’s working through an ankle which we knew about and he’s no further behind than we expected at this point,” Colbert said last Friday during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
While Green’s status over the course of the next few weeks is certainly worth paying attention to, there’s still time for him to get on the field and begin working with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the first-team offense. Is he behind right now? Sure he is and I’m sure the coaching staff is hoping he can make up ground quickly when he finally is cleared to start practicing.
So, what’s the worst case scenario right now with Green? For starters, if not ready to play by the start of the regular season, the Steelers might decide to move him to Reserve/PUP after the team’s third preseason game. However, such a transaction would require that he miss the team’s first 6 games. However, being as he had surgery on his ankle in January, one would think he is nearing the end of his rehab. With that said, Green’s new teammates seem to be frustrated that he has yet to start practicing.
“You should see his teammates roll their eyes,” Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote Thursday morning on Twitter.
In my opinion, the next few weeks will be big when it comes to Green. Obviously you would like to see him on the field for the Steelers third preseason game, the most important one of the four. If, however, he fails to be removed from the team’s Active PUP list by then, perhaps then it will be time to start worrying whether or not he’ll be able to play in the first six games of the 2016 season.
To hear Colbert talk, Green is right on schedule. He never has really clarified, however, what that schedule is.
Is it the headaches, or his ankle that’s slowing him down? We’ll have to wait and see.