The offseason is over. Football is back. The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College and training camp is underway. As we are every year, we will be right there providing live feedback and updates, and will be supplementing ourselves throughout the day, every day.
The Steelers are coming off a frustrating season to say the least, posting a 13-3 record with a first-round bye only to be dumped in the Divisional Round by a team that beat them twice, even though they hadn’t even been to the playoffs in a decade.
They’ve added the ingredients that they think they need to fix what ails them, adding new players and coaches, while getting rid of others. Now is when they start mixing up those ingredients and trying to create something powerful.
We still have a lot of questions about this team, and we’ll be monitoring the practices and preseason games looking for answers. As we always do.
Question: Which injured players will return to practice today, and how much will they participate?
By the time the Steelers’ final practice session ended on Monday, a number of prominent players were already standing on the sidelines with ice packs or even taken off the field entirely after suffering new injuries or continuing to nurse older ones.
With an off day on Tuesday, the hope is that they can get some players back into the lineup. And that would be especially important for the secondary, in which three starters have been nicked.
Free agent Morgan Burnett has missed time with a tweaked hamstring, but did return as a limited participant on Monday. Sean Davis missed the last practice entirely with an injury, while Artie Burns failed to finish. While none are deemed serious, it’s unclear if they will be on the field today.
Another big name is JuJu Smith-Schuster, who seems to be dealing with a left knee injury that may have been the reason for him missing the spring as well. Fellow second-year T.J. Watt, also a starter, sat out on Monday with Anthony Chickillo taking over for him.
Perhaps of greatest concern among the unknown injuries is tight end Vance McDonald, who left practice on Sunday with a foot injury. The veteran has a long and concerning history of nagging minor injuries.
Then there is Ramon Foster, who will certainly not be back on the field by the time the Steelers leave Saint Vincent College, though the hope is that he might be able to work his way back by the time the regular season gets underway.
I may even be forgetting names (there’s Eli Rogers for example on the PUP List and Ola Adeniyi, who said that he was ‘Gucci’ after not finishing practice on Monday), but that is a pretty long list of important names already.