Steelers News

Tomlin Says Coates Still Has Problems Catching Footballs

One week after playing just two offensive snaps in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates played just one offensive in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns. Even so, Coates still played 15 total special teams snaps on Sunday and registered 3 tackles as part of that unit.

During his Monday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if Coates’ drop in offensive snaps continue to be related to his two broken fingers or if lack of attention to detail on the offensive side of the football is somehow playing a role in that.

“It’s the fact that he’s got two broken fingers on one hand,” Tomlin said. “It doesn’t limit him from a special teams standpoint as you can reference his three special teams tackles, but it does make it increasing difficult to catch the football.”

Tomlin was then asked if allowing Coates to play on special teams puts him at further risk when it comes to his two broken fingers.

“No, we wouldn’t obviously do that if that were the case,” Tomlin said. “He’s healthy enough to play, he just doesn’t catch the ball as clean with two broken fingers.”

Since suffering his broken fingers in the Week 5 game against the New York Jets, Coates has seen his offensive playing time dwindle down to almost nothing. He’s caught just one pass for 4 yards since breaking his fingers and the Steelers offense certainly is missing his deep play-making ability and speed.

While Coates is slowly becoming a reliable special teams player, it would be nice to know how much longer he needs before being able to catch the football again. Here’s to hoping that he doesn’t hurt his fingers worse in the meantime while playing on special teams.

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