2017 Offseason Questions: Is Sammie Coates In ‘Good Hands’?

The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.

And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Now that we know that Sammie Coates’ self-reported surgery was on his groin, what does that say about his broken fingers?

It was reported early in the offseason that Sammie Coates was going to take a few weeks to rehab his injured hand, on which he fractured two fingers in the fifth game of the season, in order to determine whether or not it would require surgery.

Fast forward a bit and we get a report that Coates did indeed have surgery, and if I’m not mistaken it was even specifically reported by at least one first-hand outlet that the surgery was on his hand. This news came as relief to many fans, including myself.

Now over the course of the past couple of days Coates managed to self-report that the surgery was on his groin rather than his hand, and reporters later subsequently confirmed that he indeed did not have his hand operated upon.

Teams don’t have to divulge medical information during this portion of the offseason, so the confusion is not surprising. He was not even known to have had a groin injury. He did have a hamstring injury that held him out at the end of the regular season.

It’s unclear whether or not surgery is still an option being weighed for his broken fingers. We really have no information at all about the status of his hand, even going back into the regular season. The best that we know is that he at one point said that he had a “busted hand”.

Coates struggled significantly after the first five games of the season, dropping a very high volume of the few targets that he received thereafter. He had three drops in the AFC Championship game alone.

Many thus were hoping that he would indeed have surgery on the hand in the offseason. But he also didn’t have time during the season to rest the hand and let it heal. Now that we know he didn’t have surgery on his hand, it begs the question: how, then, are his fingers doing? This is a highly relevant question to the Steelers’ 2017 success.

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