When Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announces the names of the players who will start training camp off on the Active PUP list Thursday evening, wide receiver Sammie Coates will be included in them. Coates, the Steelers former third-round draft pick out of Auburn, is currently recovering from two offseason knee surgeries that will prevent him from practicing during the first few weeks of training camp.
Coates talked about his latest setback on Thursday upon his arrival to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and said his latest procedure included a clean up on his meniscus and that it won’t be major road block for him, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press. He called the procedure “unavoidable” after his knee had locked up.
“It was leftover stuff from the end of the season,” said Coates, who doesn’t expect to miss all of camp. “It should be better now. It’s an old injury. I got it cleaned up at the end of the season too.”
While Coates only expects to miss a couple of weeks, that time frame could ultimately result in him missing the Steelers first two preseason games at a minimum. The Auburn product will have to fight for a roster spot this summer once healthy and his inability to practice early on could give other players such as Justin Hunter, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Demarcus Ayers a lot of time to impress the Steelers coaching staff.
“It’s part of the game,” said Coates. “It’s competition. You have to be ready to go. I’ll do what I can when I get back on the field.”
Coates battled with injuries last year after an impressive first five games of the 2016 regular season that included him catching five passes of 40 yards or more. From Week 6 until the end of the regular season, Coates only caught two passes for 14 yards and most of his playing time came on special teams.
Sammie Coates said surgery to clean up meniscus won't be major road block. Called it "unavoidable" after it locked up
— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) July 27, 2017
#Steelers WR Sammie Coates said he recently had his knee scoped and "will be out for a few weeks."
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) July 27, 2017
WR Sammie Coates has had two knee scopes since end of @Steelers season. Second was to clean up debris, expects to be ready in couple weeks.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) July 27, 2017