The Pittsburgh Steelers are now busy preparing for their Monday night home game against the Miami Dolphins after having their bye last week and on Tuesday head coach Mike Tomlin held his weekly press conference. As usual, Tomlin gave an overview of the health of the team during the early portion of his press conference.
Tomlin started by updating the conditions of inside linebacker Mark Barron (hamstring) and outside linebacker T.J. Watt (oblique).
“Mark Barron is working in a partial capacity,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We’ll let his participation and the quality of that participation be our guide in terms of his availability. We’re excited that we got an extra day and so some of these things that I’m talking about in terms of questionable availability obviously will be aided by the additional day and day and some change when you’re talking about Monday Night Football. T.J. Watt has been slowed with an abdominal issue and it may affect him at the early portions of the week.”
Barron missed the Steelers last game against the Los Angeles Chargers with a hamstring injury while Watt suffered his oblique injury at some point during that Sunday night contest.
Tomlin continued with his updates on a few other players, some of whom missed the team’s game against the Chargers.
“Some guys that have been dealing with injuries of different descriptions that are working their way back to us, Jaylen Samuels is starting to work and it’s good to see him out there and you’ll probably get an opportunity to continue to see him out there at least in a partial capacity and see where that leads us this week,” Tomlin said. “Joe Haden… Mike Hilton experienced a calf injury at the end of the Charger game and was slowed last week by that. He was slowed again yesterday, and it may affect him throughout the early portions of the week.
“Some guys that have missed some time, or missed the last game, or have been less than available in some instances, or are really moving beyond their circumstance, are Steve Nelson and Vance McDonald and James Washington with his shoulder. So, we’re excited about getting some of these guys back, at least moving in the right direction in terms of partial participation, and we’ll get an opportunity to look at that participation and see if they can carry some roles for us this week.”
Running back Jaylen Samuels (knee) is still expected to be out at least one more game with his knee injury. As for wide receiver James Washington (shoulder), who missed the game against the Chargers with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 5, Tomlin made it sound like he might be back Monday night against the Dolphins. The same maybe can be said about cornerback Steven Nelson (groin), who like Washington, missed the Steelers game against the Chargers. Tomlin only mentioned cornerback Joe Haden (groin) by name. Haden was injured during the second half of the game against the Chargers.
Tomlin never mentioned fullback Roosevelt Nix (knee) during his rundown of injured players. Nix, however, who has been sidelined since Week 1 with a knee injury, reportedly practiced on Monday in some capacity so hopefully he’ll be able to return to action Monday night against the Dolphins.
Tomlin closed out his health updates by talking briefly about quarterback Mason Rudolph, who missed the game against the Chargers due to a concussion suffered in Week 5.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Mason Rudolph, he’s cleared the protocol,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “It’s good to have him back out there and continue with his progress in terms of being our quarterback and getting us ready to play a football game and his inclusion in that.”
Rudolph is obviously expected to start against the Dolphins Monday night.
The Steelers first official injury report of Week 8 will not be released until Thursday afternoon due to the team playing on Monday night.