The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their second preseason game of 2016 Thursday night at Heinz Field against the Philadelphia Eagles and once again several key offensive players will not be allowed to suit up for the contest.
During his Tuesday morning press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin told the media that Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, and Antonio Brown will all sit out the Thursday night game against the Eagles.
“I know what Ben is capable of, I’ve worked with him for a decade now,” said Tomlin of his decision to sit Roethlisberger against the Eagles. “He showed up in tremendous condition, he’s performed well, he’s obviously a veteran. What’s required for him to be ready to play might be different from others so it’s my job to give everybody what it is that they need to be ready to go. I just believe that the reps are better served to be given to guys like Landry Jones and Dustin [Vaughan], and it won’t hurt him by not getting them. And really I don’t look at it any differently, or with any more depth than just that.”
Tomlin, however, did say that center Maurkice Pouncey might play Thursday night. Pouncey was held out of the team’s preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.
As far as players who are currently nursing minor injuries goes, Tomlin said he’ll leave the light on for them to play Thursday night and that includes rookie cornerback Artie Burns, who just resumed practicing on a limited basis on Monday.
Tomlin also wasn’t ready to rule out rookie tackle Jerald Hawkins for Thursday night’s preseason game. Hawkins is currently nursing a shoulder injury that he suffered against the Lions.