The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to practice on Monday and it was the team’s first session at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex since their mandatory mini camp took place there earlier in the summer. While the team’s current list of injured players appears to be fairly short as they begin preparing for their third preseason game of 2019, it sounds like tight end Vance McDonald can now be added to the list of walking wounded.
During his Monday post-practice press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked if McDonald is currently dealing with any sort of injury and that’s likely because the veteran tight end didn’t practice during the day’s session.
“Just day-to-day,” Tomlin said. “He’ll be fine.”
For now, we’ll just have to take Tomlin’s word for it when it comes to McDonald, who played 15 offensive snaps in the team’s Saturday night preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. McDonald caught one pass in that game for 5 yards but fumbled the football forward and out of bounds on that same play.
Last season McDonald played in 15 of the team’s 16 regular season games. He missed the regular season opener last season due to a foot injury that also prevented him from practicing quite a bit during training camp. The Steelers are expected to make McDonald an even larger part of their offense in 2019 after trading away wide receiver Antonio Brown back in March.
As for updates on the other Steelers players currency dealing with injuries, Tomlin wouldn’t provide one after Monday’s practice when asked to do so.
“No, I’ll have an update for you probably later in the week,” Tomlin said.
As part of that question, it was inferred that Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton wasn’t seen during Monday’s practice so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s currently dealing with anything.
After the team’s Saturday night preseason game against the Chiefs, Tomlin indicated that outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo (chest) and running back Benny Snell Jr. (groin) were two players that had sustained injuries during that contest and that the early speculation was that neither’s injury was serious in nature. Tomlin also indicated after Saturday’s game that rookie linebacker Devin Bush was held out of the second preseason contest due to a shoulder injury and that that decision was just a precautionary one.
For whatever it’s worth, steelers.com has a picture of Bush practicing in some capacity on Monday.
We’ll have to see if Tomlin updates the conditions of the team’s injured players during his next full press conference and that might take place as early as Tuesday morning due to the team using this week as a dry-run for the regular season. The Steelers more than likely like to have McDonald play Sunday night against the Tennessee Titans as that contest should include the one and only time that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play during the preseason along with all other fully healthy members of the starting offense.
Of the team’s starters on offense, only Roethlisberger, center Maurkice Pouncey and guard David DeCastro have yet to play thus far during the preseason. The two linemen are dealing with minor injuries so there’s a decent chance that both will make their 2019 preseason debuts Sunday night along with Roethlisberger.
UPDATE ON HILTON:
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) August 19, 2019