The bye week has finally arrived for the Pittsburgh Steelers and when they return from it in Week 9 to play the Baltimore Ravens, the hope is that several of their currently injured players will be able to play in that divisional game.
Leading the list of hopefuls is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots after needing a meniscus cleanup procedure done last Monday on the left knee that he injured in the team’s Week 6 road loss to the Miami Dolphins. Whether Roethlisberger will able to play against the Ravens probably won’t be known until a week from Tuesday at the earliest.
On Monday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that while Roethlisberger was in the team’s locker room, he declined to talk to the media to update his status. He was, however, reportedly walking without a limp.
The Steelers are also hoping to get right tackle Marcus Gilbert and defensive end Cameron Heyward back following the team’s bye week and the team could certainly use the two starters. Gilbert told the media Monday that he will indeed play against the Ravens. He’s missed the last three games with an ankle injury. As for Heyward, he has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
Also sidelined this past week with injuries were wide receiver Markus Wheaton (shoulder), running back DeAngelo Williams (knee), safety Shamarko Thomas (groin), and center/guard Cody Wallace (knee). While no updates were given Monday on those four players, one would think that all of them are close to being able to return to action following the bye week.
While he did play in a limited capacity Sunday against the Patriots, wide receiver Sammie Coates will use the bye week to work on getting his broken left index finger better healed. Coates only played 7 snaps against the Patriots after apparently reinjuring his finger early in the game.
As for tight end Ladarius Green (ankle), who remains on the team’s Reserve/PUP list, he’s reportedly healthy now and waiting on the go-ahead from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin to start practicing. Even if Green can start practicing after the bye week, there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready to play against the Ravens as he might need some time to get himself back into football shape in addition to finally getting time to show that he knows the offensive playbook inside and out on the practice field.
When it comes to outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who is still on the teams Reserve/injured list, he reportedly said Monday he’s targeting a Week 10 return to practices and fully plans to play this season, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. However, like Green, Dupree might need a few weeks of practice before activated back to the Steelers 53-man roster.