The Pittsburgh Steelers have now released their Friday injury report ahead of their week 1 road game against the Cleveland Browns and it shows that one player is now officially ruled out for that contest.
Not practicing again on Friday was tight end Vance McDonald (foot) and he was listed as out for Sunday’s road game against the Browns. McDonald, who practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday, also failed to practice on Thursday and that was a good sign he wouldn’t be ready to return to the field this week from the foot injury that has sidelined him since the early stages of the team’s training camp.
With McDonald sidelined, the Steelers will use fellow tight ends Jesse James and Xavier Grimble against the Browns Sunday in Cleveland with the former expected to start. While they don’t necessarily have to, the Steelers could decide to sign tight end Bucky Hodges off their practice squad on Saturday if they feel like they need three tight ends dressed on Sunday. That’s obviously not guaranteed to happen, only an option.
The Steelers traded for McDonald last year late during the preseason and the former second-round draft pick out of Rice proceeded to miss six full games and parts of a few others in his first season in Pittsburgh due to various injuries. He finished the 2017 regular season with 14 receptions for 188 yards and a touchdown and added another 10 receptions for 122 yards in the Steelers playoff loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A few weeks ago, the Steelers restructured McDonald’s contract to clear some 2018 salary cap space after he had missed nearly all of training camp and all four preseason games.