2019 Offseason Questions: Will Joe Haden Be Ready To Play Sunday?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.

The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.

How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Will Joe Haden be able to play on Sunday?

Outside of Sean Davis, the Steelers entered the regular season healthy. while Davis looks to be working his way back, however, a couple of others are trending in the wrong direction after suffering injuries in the season opener against the New England Patriots.

Among the more notable ones was the shoulder injury suffered by Joe Haden in the second half. While he returned to and finished the game, he was playing on adrenaline. There is a mild optimism about the potential that he will be able to play on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but as of now, he has not practiced.

In the event that he is unable to go at all today, it will be a difficult decision, likely made at game time, as to whether or not he will be allowed to play, in which case rookie Justin Layne would figure to get a helmet, and Artie Burns would start in his place. Burns replaced him when he left Sunday’s game.

According to defensive coordinator Keith Butler, Haden told him more or less that he would play on Sunday, but we always hear from players that they think they are able to play. It’s rare for a player to err on the side of caution while gauging the odds of their ability to play through injury, or to recover from injury.

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