It was impressive to read that Sean Davis said the shoulder injury that prompted offseason surgery this year actually happened in the third game of the season against the Eagles, since it means that he continued to play through the injury over the course of the regular season and postseason, entering the starting lineup in the second half of the year while injured.
While he had the surgery, that hasn’t kept him off the practice field. He is not participating in team drills just yet, but he is going through the warmups and through individual drills. He and the coaching staff are simply being cautious with him for now, and are not sure if he will return to full practice before training camp.
“I’m just being safe right now”, he told a gathering of reporters on the first day of the second week of OTAs. “I did have a minor cleanup procedure, so I’m just being safe”. He continued to say that he is “capable of doing everything”, but “when I’m ready I’ll be out there with the guys”.
Back in Week Three, the Steelers had a disastrous game in Philadelphia in one of the worst losses in recent memory for the team. It was also the end of the experiment of Davis playing as the nickel cornerback, the role in which he started the season.
Because of the Lisfranc injury to Senquez Golson, the Steelers ended up with Davis as the second-string nickel cornerback, even though they drafted him to play safety with a mind toward his versatility. He was running in the nickel early in the offseason, but after the injury, the coaching staff decided to shelf him and scale back his responsibilities.
Despite the injury in that game, however, Davis didn’t have the luxury of sitting on the bench very long, because Robert Golden also got injured, so he had to move to safety. Jordan Dangerfield started for Golden the next two weeks, however, while Davis didn’t play against the Chiefs.
After the Jets game, he hardly played until after the bye week when he began to rotate at safety. Last year they realized that they had put too much on his plate and decided to scale things back. Now they are scaling back his workouts to remain on the safe side.
“The main goal is to be safe because you don’t want to rush it and have a setback”, he told reporters. It should go without saying that his shoulder can’t be too bad given that he played 16 games through it, but there is no reason to put unnecessary strain on it before training camp.
It will be interesting to see whether or not he does participate in team drills by minicamp, though it is ultimately only of minor significance whether or not he does. While he is a young player and all experience matters, he is also already a starter and knows what he is doing, and is engaged in every other way.