Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Ladarius Green is certainly ready to put his disappointing 2016 season behind him now that the team has been eliminated from the playoffs.
Green, who missed the Steelers last five games due a concussion that he suffered in the Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, reportedly said on Monday that he has no plans to retire and that he’s also not concerned with the effects, short- or long-term, of his past head injuries.
“I talked to all the doctors. They reassured me of that. I’m not too worried about that,” Green said Monday, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m not focusing on that right now.”
What Green is focusing on right now is getting himself ready to play in 2017.
“I’ll just go and do what I do every offseason, just train and work and try to get ready for next year,” Green said.
The Steelers signed Green to a four-year, $20 million free agent contract in March and that was after the tight end had underwent offseason ankle surgery. He ultimately missed all of the team’s OTA practices and upon arriving to Latrobe for the start of training camp, he was promptly placed on the Active/PUP list and ultimately the Reserve/PUP list where he remained for over half of the regular season.
In August, it was reported that headaches were keeping Green sidelined and not his surgically repaired ankle. When asked about those reports, head coach Mike Tomlin said it was indeed Green’s ankle that resulted him starting the regular season on the PUP list.
Once he emerged from the PUP list in October, Green started to show why the Steelers signed him during free agency. In the six games that he appeared in he caught 18 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown in the 140 total offensive snaps that he played. In his sixth game, however, he suffered his latest concussion that would ultimately put an end to his first season in Pittsburgh.
“I was able to play, show a little what I can do,” Green said Monday. “I just hope it gets a lot better from there.”
It will now be interesting to see if the Steelers are worried about Green’s future as it relates to possible future concussions. We’ll find out for sure in the 2017 NFL Draft.