Now that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has had his meniscus surgery, it’s time to focus our attention on the other multiple players who are looking to return from their injuries.
On Sunday, Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward missed his first career game due to a hamstring injury that he suffered during the first half of the Week 5 win over the New York Jets. On Monday, Heyward told the media that he’s unsure if he’ll be able to play in this coming Sunday’s home game against the New England Patriots, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press. He added that he’ll see how he progresses during the upcoming week but admitted he’s concerned about doing too much too soon.
Can heyward said he's not sure about availability. Will see as week progresses but is concerned about doing too much too soon
— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) October 17, 2016
With the Steelers bye quickly approaching, it won’t be surprising if Heyward sits out Sunday’s game against the Patriots and thus ultimately returns to the field for the team’s Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
As for Steelers tight end Ladarius Green, who has spent the entire season on the team’s Reserve/PUP list while rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle, he is now eligible to return to practice this week if the team deems him to be healthy enough to do so. According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, Green said Monday that he’ll find out later in the day whether or not he’ll be given the green light.
#Steelers may finally lay eyes on Ladarius Green in uniform, on field, playing, you know, football. He'll find out today if he can practice.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 17, 2016
“I might finally get a chance to go on the field and play and practice,” Green said Monday, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “That is exciting. I feel pretty good. It’s been a while since I have played, a while since I have practiced. I feel good. I am excited to get back out there and see what I can do.”
When and if Green does start practicing, the Steelers will then have 21 days to add him back to their 53-man roster. Even if he does start practicing this week there is no guarantee that he’ll play Sunday against the Patriots as he may need some time to get himself back into football shape in addition to showing that he has a full grasp of the playbook.
“I had a good little while to learn the playbook,” Green said. “I learned it pretty much and am pretty good at it. Until you go on the field and run it, it’s a totally different animal.”
As for the Steelers other injured players, it’s currently unclear as to whether or not linebacker Ryan Shazier, center/guard Cody Wallace, wide receiver Markus Wheaton, safety Shamarko Thomas, and tackle Marcus Gilbert will each be healthy enough to play Sunday against the Patriots.
Shazier has missed the last three games with a knee injury while Gilbert has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. As for Wheaton and Thomas, they both sat out Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. Wheaton is dealing with a shoulder injury while Thomas is currently rehabbing a groin injury. Wallace, on the other hand, hasn’t played in a game so far this season after suffering a knee injury during the preseason.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is scheduled to hold his weekly press conference on Tuesday and at that time is expected to give a full rundown of the team’s injury report.