The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Will Artie Burns get back out on the field for today’s practice?
There was a report on Sunday that Steelers second-year cornerback Artie Burns planned to return to practice today after sitting out Saturday and Sunday sessions. He appeared to suffer a lower leg into early in practice on Friday, which has resulted in him missing some valuable practice time.
It wasn’t clear initially the extent to which he might be injured, and some took caution on the words chosen by head coach Mike Tomlin in talking about Burns, saying that he is “in good spirits”. That phrase tends to be associated with the psychological impact of a long-term situation, but is obviously not exclusive to such circumstances.
While those self-produced fears are evidently misplaced, it has not been confirmed whether or not he will return to practice today, so until we see him back on the field, we are working with a limited data set about his current state.
As a second-year player, I emphasize just how important it is to get the practice reps in, and the value of those reps increases exponentially when you are dealing with a young player who is a starter. Burns was displaying notable progress from his rookie season that could be in danger of stalling were he to miss a significant amount of time.
The Steelers are depending upon the former first-round draft pick to become one of their top players on defense, which is frankly not really something that they have had from the cornerback position for a while. Of course, they have also not used a first-round draft pick on one in a while, and you often get what you pay for.