The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a few injuries in their Week 5 home win against the Philadelphia Eagles as guard David DeCastro (abdominal), center Maurkice Pouncey (foot) and wide receiver Diontae Johnson (back) all left that contest with ailments. On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the health of those three players in addition to the statuses of the two players who missed the team’s Week 5 game with injuries, fullback Derek Watt and inside linebacker Marcus Allen.
“We had a couple of guys that sustained injury in game and their availability this week will be determined by the quality of their practice and their practice availability, specifically,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “Those guys are David DeCastro with an abdominal strain. Maurkice Pouncey has a foot injury of some kind and it’s probably going to limit his practice availability at the beginning of the week, but I don’t know that it’s going to jeopardize his playing availability. And the same with Diontae Johnson, who took a direct blow to the back.
“There were a couple of guys that were out in our last game who have a chance to work themselves back into rotation, those being Derek Watt and Marcus Allen. Both guys have been in the building at the early portion of this week and have run and rehabilitation leads us to believe that they’re going to be available to practice and we’ll let the quality of that practice be our guide in terms of whether we include them in the development of a plan.”
So, on the surface, it sounds like there’s a good chance that Pouncey and Johnson will be able to play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Basically, both players seem probable. As for DeCastro, Watt and Allen, it’s probably best to characterize those three players as questionable at the start of Week 6.
The Steelers will release their first injury report of Week 6 on Wednesday after practice has ended. That first list is likely to be long and include not only the five players mentioned by Tomlin on Tuesday, but a few others that might be given Wednesday off, such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.