The Pittsburgh Steelers will start their annual three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and the hope is they’ll end those practices in the same manner that they reportedly ended their three weeks worth of OTA practices and that’s healthy.
One year after losing tackle Jerald Hawkins to a quad tear and tight end Jake McGee to a torn Achilles during OTAs, the Steelers escaped this year’s nine on-the-field practices without any significant injuries, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. If anything, the team got healthier as the three weeks of OTA practices rolled on as two starting defensive players, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and safety Sean Davis, were both able to resume practicing in some capacity after sitting out the first two weeks with minor injuries.
While the Steelers certainly could have a few players that exited OTA practices with a few minor injuries, the fact that no young players needed to be waived injured during the last three weeks is a great sign that the bottom half of the 91-man active roster should be healthy enough to participate fully in the team’s three forthcoming mandatory minicamp practices.
On the surface, it appears as though guard David DeCastro missed most of, if not all of, the team’s voluntary OTA practices but his absence was due to the recent birth of his second child. One would assume that DeCastro will be present this week for the team’s mandatory minicamp.
At the conclusion of the Steelers mandatory minicamp practices on Thursday, it shouldn’t take too long for word to surface as to the health of the team as they enter the five week period of being off before training camp gets underway in Latrobe in late July. In short, we should be able to put together a short list of players who might have to start off training camp on the team’s Reserve/PUP list.
Last year, only linebacker Ryan Shazier and wide receiver Eli Rogers started training camp off on the team’s Reserve/PUP list. Shazier, in case you missed it, has already been placed on the team’s 2019 Reserve/PUP list as he continues to battles back from the serious spinal injury he suffered late during the 2017 regular season.