The Pittsburgh Steelers held their first regular season practice of 2018 on Monday and it included several players who have missed a lot of time due to injuries participating in the session.
According to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, cornerback Mike Hilton, the team’s starting nickel defender, said at the conclusion of Monday’s practice that he and veteran safety Morgan Burnett both returned to practice in some capacity earlier in the day. Hilton, who suffered some sort of lower leg injury while covering the first punt during the Steelers second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, said Monday he got scout-team reps as part of him working himself back.
As for Burnett, who the Steelers signed to a three-year free agent contract back in March, he’s been dealing with an unspecified injury for most of the preseason. Him practicing on Monday is certainly a great sign that he might be ready for the team’s Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns. Even better, it now certainly doesn’t sound like his injury is serious enough to warrant him being placed on the Reserve/Injured list as has been previously speculated might happen.
Also practicing on Monday were tight end Xavier Grimble and guard Ramon Foster, according to Rutter. Grimble has been sidelined several weeks after needing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. As for Foster, he’s been sidelined since the early stages of training camp with a knee injury. He said Monday he practiced in pads, which is obviously a great sign.
As for tight end Vance McDonald, who has been sidelined since the start of training camp with a foot injury, it doesn’t appear as though he practiced on Monday. According to Rutter, the often injured McDonald continues to list himself as day-to-day yet hopes to play Sunday against Cleveland. He called his injury status, “frustrating.”
The Steelers first official injury report for Week 1 will be released Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will address the media on Tuesday at noon and at that time will likely recap the overall health of his team.