The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently holding their first padded practice of training camp and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not taking part in it.
According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, Roethlisberger has an excused absence on Sunday. With Roethlisberger not present Sunday at Saint Vincent College, Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs and Bart Houston will all slide up a notch in the practice rotation order.
Also not practicing on Sunday is starting inside linebacker Vince Williams, who unlike Roethlisberger, is present for Sunday’s practice. It’s unclear as to why Williams is being held out and it might be because head coach Mike Tomlin is fearful the linebacker might be too aggressive during the teams’first padded practice. Williams had made it clear on Twitter earlier in the day that he was looking forward to doing some hitting on Sunday.
With Williams sidelined, second-year linebacker Tyler Matakevich is reportedly getting first-team reps in his place.
As expected, two of the Steelers rookie draft picks, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) and cornerback Cameron Sutton (lower body), are both sitting out of Sunday’s practice with injuries. Smith-Schuster injured his ankle during the team’s Friday practice while Sutton suffered his lower body injury during the team’s Saturday practice. While neither injury is believed to be significant, the two rookies might continue to miss practice time moving forward.