It’s difficult to know right not whether Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green will be ready to play in the team’s Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens, but now that he’s at least practicing with the rest of his teammates, there’s a possibility he’ll make his 2016 debut a week from this coming Sunday.
Green, who was given the go-ahead to start practicing on Tuesday, talked to the media in the locker room afterwards.
“It felt good to be back out there,” said Green, per the team’s official website. “I was out there for all of practice. It’s a real relief. It’s been so long. The guys welcomed me back. It was just fun. I was excited, a little bit nervous. It was good to be out there with the fellas. It was good to go out there and work with those guys.
“There is still a lot of stuff I have to work on. It felt rusty, but it just felt good to be out there. I still feel a little bit stiff, a little bit rusty. It was good to go out there and show them I could do something.”
A few of Green’s teammates were not only glad to see him on the field finally, they also thought his first practice went as well as can probably be expected.
“He made a couple plays in that two-minute drill, he looked solid,” quarterback Landry Jones said Tuesday, per Mike Prisuta.
Even one the Steelers defensive backs was impressed with what Green did on Tuesday.
“He made a combat catch today and looked really good,” rookie safety Sean Davis said. “Everything thrown to him, I think he caught it today.”
After reportedly practicing fully on Tuesday, Green is now looking forward to following that up with another strong session on Wednesday. Judging by his post-practice comments, it sounds like he’s mostly concerned about how his body and surgically repaired ankle responds to his first full practice of the season.
“Tomorrow is a big day. I am coming off a big day of practice and I get a chance to see how I feel off of that,” Green said.
It certainly would be great if Green can play his first game against the Ravens and especially if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also able to make his return to the field as well. While Roethlisberger still isn’t able to practice fully yet following him having a cleanup procedure performed on the meniscus of his left knee just over a week ago, he was able to throw some passes to Green and others players on Tuesday.
Green, who signed a four-year, $20 million free agent contract with the Steelers this past March, missed the team’s first 7 regular season games due to him being on the Reserve/PUP list. Now that he’s finally started practicing, the Steelers have 21 days to either place him back on their 53-man roster or leave him on their PUP list the remainder of the season. Barring any kind of a setback, expect the first of those two options to happen.
Ladarius Green talks about hitting the practice field for the first time this season. pic.twitter.com/Hn3oFyy5Te
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 25, 2016