The Pittsburgh Steelers resumed their 2020 training camp practices on Monday at Heinz Field after having Sunday off and after the session was over with head coach Mike Tomlin once again addressed the overall health of the team. Tomlin started his presser off by talking about a few players who did not practice Monday.
“We gave several guys a day off to help preserve them over the course of the long haul,” Tomlin started. “Guys like Ben [Roethlisberger] and JuJu [Smith-Schuster]. But more importantly then that, it provides the opportunities for others. And that’s what we focus on, the younger guys that get an opportunity to ascend within the competition and get a chance to compete against some more veteran players and show their mettle in that regard. So, we like to focus on that.”
Tomlin then provided a few updates on players who have been dealing with minor injuries ahead of Monday’s practice.
“Several guys were having an opportunity to work their way back from injury, David DeCastro being one of them,” Tomlin said. “He was back out working today. A couple of new injury things to note, guys that didn’t work. [Chris] Wormley has a shoulder, [Wendell] Smallwood has a shoulder. We’ll monitor those guys. Hopefully, they’ll get back to us sooner rather than later. Chuks [Okorafor] has a groin that can be described as day to day.”
A few other players suffered injuries on Monday and Tomlin went over that list.
“Derwin Gray had a knee, don’t know the status of that,” Tomlin said. “I think he was able to finish. Anthony Johnson a knee, same thing. Bud Dupree, but I think Bud was able to finish.”
Tomlin went on to give his closing thoughts on the health of the team exiting Monday’s practice.
“You know, some of the nicks that go on with this process,” Tomlin said. “We had maybe 12 to 15 guys out at different portions of the day. So that 80 number is more like 65. We have to be cognizant of that in an effort to keep the group up, but at the same time, it’s an opportunity for those that are highly conditioned for them to highlight that aspect of readiness and seize additional reps and rise through the ranks. And that’s what this process is about.”
According to a list compiled before Monday’s practice got underway, wide receiver Diontae Johnson, center Maurkice Pouncey, safety Terrell Edmunds, and Kevin Dotson (knee) were not in pads. Additionally, running back James Conner and defensive end Stephon Tuitt both practiced on Monday after sitting out the team’s Saturday night practice.
As Tomlin mentioned, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster were both given off on Monday. Both were in jerseys and present for practice, however.