The Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off their 2017 OTA practices on Tuesday with what appears to be a relatively healthy 90-man roster, judging only by the multiple media reports and pictures posted on the team’s website.
For starters, while there was some uncertainty concerning the hip of wide receiver Martavis Bryant following a recent online chat conducted by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the former fourth-round draft pick was a full-go during his first practice back with the team. In fact, Bouchette clarified the misunderstanding about Bryant in a series of Tuesday evening tweets.
In short, and as I speculated during the Monday episode of The Terrible Podcast, Bouchette’s hip comment was related to a question he was asked about free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis that failed to post in his online recap of the chat. Whew!
As for other Steelers players currently dealing with injuries or surgical rehabs, it’s no surprise that running back Le’Veon Bell was sidelined for the team’s first OTA practice as he is still rehabbing from his offseason groin surgery. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fact that Bell wasn’t present at all on Tuesday which is something quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made sure to point out during his post-practice talk with the media.
While OTA practices are not mandatory, it’s clear that Roethlisberger is hopeful that Bell will at least start showing up soon even if he is unable to practice.
While linebacker Vince Williams might not yet be 100 percent following his offseason shoulder surgery, there is a picture of him participating some during Tuesday’s OTA practice on the team’s website. In short, even if Williams is limited the remainder of the OTA practices, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t be ready to go for the start of training camp.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reported that safety Sean Davis also underwent offseason shoulder surgery and that he should be ready to go for the start of training camp. If it’s any consolation, Davis was videoed while going through some conditioning drills on Tuesday, so make of that what you will.
While I’ve yet to spot tackle Jerald Hawkins in any videos from the media or pictures on the team’s website, so far there’s been no reports of him having to sit out on Tuesday. Hawkins, if you remember, had his 2016 rookie season wiped out by a shoulder injury that ultimately required surgery.
In the same video that Davis appeared in, you can also see cornerback Senquez Golson going through the same drill. Based on that, one can only assume that he’s now fully recovered from the foot injury that he suffered last year during training camp that ultimately led to him being placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list.
As for wide receiver Sammie Coates, he now appears to be over the finger and groin injuries that he suffered last season.
We’ll have to wait and see over the course of the next few days if there are any other players who are still recovering from previous offseason surgeries that haven’t been previously reported. For now, however, the Steelers appear to have a relatively healthy 90-man roster, all things considered, and hopefully it remains that way moving forward.