Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have wrapped up their annual OTA practices and prepare for next week’s mandatory minincamp, it’s a good time to review the overall health of the team.
While the team isn’t obligated to release updates on injured players during the offseason, there’s been enough reports from the media over the course of the last three weeks to allow us to keep a running list of which players aren’t particularly fully healthy right now in addition to those who missed extended time last season because of injuries.
B.J. Finney (undisclosed) – The Steelers backup interior swingman reportedly left the team’s Thursday OTA practice with an undisclosed injury, we presume. In short, we’ll have to wait until the team’s mandatory minicamp gets underway to see if he’s able to return to action.
Ramon Foster (knee) – We found out this past week that Foster underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this offseason and as result he’s been sidelined during OTA practices. On the surface, one would think and hope that the Steelers starting left guard will be fine come the starting camp. In the meantime, it will be surprising if Foster participates in next week’s mandatory minicamp.
Stephon Tuitt (hand/finger) – Tuitt had offseason surgery on one of his hands this offseason and thus hasn’t been practicing during OTAs. The consensus is that he’ll also be ready for the start of training camp, but like Foster, isn’t expected to practice during the team’s mandatory minicamp.
Le’Veon Bell (groin) – Bell, as all of you should know by now, is still rehabbing from offseason groin surgery and in addition to that, he’s still attempting to work out a long-term contract extension with the Steelers after being issued the franchise tag several months ago. Even when Bell does eventually sign a new contract, the Steelers won’t be in hurry to get him on the practice field. In short, Bell is expected to be ready to participate in training camp at some point but it will be interesting to see if starts Latrobe off on the Active/PUP list prior to him being eased into action.
James Conner (hamstring) – Conner, the Steelers second of two third-round draft picks this year, was sidelined during the team’s OTA practices with a hamstring injury. While it looks like he could do some things over the course of the last three weeks, he was probably very limited at best. It’s unclear now if he’ll be able to practice fully during the upcoming mandatory minincamp.
Javon Hargrave (shoulder) – Hargrave, who reportedly suffered a shoulder injury during the second week of OTA practices, did return to action last week in some capacity and that’s certainly great news. It’s still unclear, however, if Hargrave, the team’s third-round draft pick last year, will be a full-go next week during mandatory minicamp.
Tyson Alualu (calf) – Previous reports indicate that Alualu has been battling a calf injury of some kind throughout the team’s OTA practices. The hope appears to be that he’ll be able to return to action in a full capacity soon. Like a few others included on this list, we’ll have to wait and see if he’s able to do anything during next week’s mandatory minicamp.
Sean Davis (shoulder) – Davis underwent offseason shoulder surgery that included him having a torn labrum repaired. The Steelers second-round draft pick last year was in uniform during the team’s OTA practices but was reportedly very limited just the same. Currently, there is no reason to think that Davis won’t be ready for the start of training camp.
Vince Williams (shoulder) – Williams might be in the same boat as Davis right now. While he has also been spotted in uniform during OTA practices, it’s a little unclear right now if he’s been able to work without any limitations.
Demarcus Ayers (hernia) – Ayers, the Steelers seventh-round draft pick last year, had hernia surgery back in February and on the surface, appears to be working without any limitations so far this offseason.
Sammie Coates (hernia) – Coates appears to be in the same boat as Ayers right now and thus not limited during practices after undergoing offseason hernia surgery. Coates also showed off his previously injured hand/finger to the media during OTAs and said he’s still working on strengthening it.
Cameron Heyward (pectoral) – Heyward, who spent most of the 2016 season on the team’s Reserve/Injured list after suffering a pectoral injury, has been practicing in some capacity during OTAs. While he still might be needing to work on regaining his overall strength moving forward, on the surface, he appears to be fully recovered.
Senquez Golson (foot) – Golson, who sat out the 2016 season after suffering a foot injury during the early stages of training camp that ultimately required surgery, has been practicing during OTAs and presumably without any limitations.
Summation: Pending a status report on Finney, the Steelers appear to have a fairly healthy 90-man roster as they exit their OTA practices and prepare for their mandatory minicamp, all things considered and compared to a lot of other teams around the league. Hopefully the team can escape their final three offseason practices next week without suffering any serious injuries.