Unfortunately for the Pittsburgh Steelers, tackle Alejandro Villanueva has missed a few recent training camp practices due to a shoulder injury. In fact, even though he practiced on Saturday, Villanueva grabbed for his bad shoulder after one particular play and then proceeded to talk to the trainer soon after that, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
So, is this shoulder problem of Villanueva’s something to worry about with the regular season roughly four weeks away from starting? It’s hard to know the correct answer to that question but Villanueva did address his shoulder issue during a recent interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“So, it’s a very unnatural movement playing on the offensive line and constantly punching and so every year, usually, it’s just my body is signaling that it’s a little bit too much and it gets a little overworked,” Villanueva told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller of Movin’ the Chains. “But then in a couple of days it goes away. I have it every single year. This year they’re just being a little more cautious with it.”
By the sound of things, Villanueva has worked through this shoulder issue in the past and thus we can only assume that it’s not anything serious. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise if he misses a few more camp practices before the team leaves Latrobe, however.
The Steelers will have a training camp practice on Sunday and that will be followed by their second day off since arriving at Saint Vincent College. With their first preseason game of 2018 scheduled for this coming Thursday, Villanueva might ultimately be allowed to sit that contest out and the same could go for quite a few of the rest of the Steelers starting offensive linemen. We already know that guard Ramon Foster (knee) will sit that game out and there’s really no reason for center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro or tackle Marcus Gilbert to get any snaps in, either.
Villanueva, by the way, didn’t play in the Steelers preseason opener last year against the New York Giants and neither did Pouncey. While DeCastro, Foster and Gilbertt all played in that contrst, they only logged 12 snaps in total.