The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t select a tight end during the recently concluded 2017 NFL Draft and on the surface, that appears to be good news when it comes to Ladarius Green, who the team signed to a four-year, $20 million free agent contract well over a year ago.
The Steelers are currently in Phase Two of their annual offseason program and while it’s hard to read too much into it at this point, Green was photographed recently by the team while going through some conditioning drills. Regardless, that’s a positive development.
“We don’t have any update on any of the medical issues relative to the guys on our team and as we stated at other locations, I think the owners meeting being the last one, it won’t affect us in terms of our decision making,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said just ahead of the draft when asked how Green is coming along and if his recovery from the concussion he sustained late last season would ultimately affect the team’s draft plans this year.
Rewind several more weeks ago and you’ll remember Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert saying that he expects Green to be part of the team in 2017 but that he needed to pass a physical before offseason workouts begin.
On the surface, Green looks like he’s ready to pick up where he left off last season. After spending a good part of the 2016 regular season on the Steelers Reserve/PUP list, Green was ultimately activated to the 53-man roster and played in six games before suffering a concussion in the team’s Week 15 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. That concussion wound up sidelining Green for the remainder of the regular season as well as the playoffs.
Phase Two of the NFL offseason program is three weeks long and during that span of time on-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted, however.
Assuming Green can make through Phase Two without any issues, we’ll then look forward to seeing how he does during Phase Three, which includes the Steelers conducting up to 10 OTA practices. During those practices, no live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed and hopefully Green will be able to participate fully in all of them.
You can see more photos of Steelers going through Phase Two on the team’s website.