The Pittsburgh Steelers got a little dinged up in their Sunday road win against the Jacksonville Jaguars and with a short week now underway it will be interesting to see if it will affect a few players come Thursday when the team host the Baltimore Ravens Thanksgiving night. Head coach Mike Tomlin talked about the health of the team coming out of Sunday’s game during his Monday press conference.
“Zach Gentry has a significant knee injury,” Tomlin said of the second-year tight end. “I’m still waiting on clarification in terms of what that means. It’s safe to say he will not be available this week. Some other guys who went down in-game and were able to come back, or were in position to come back, whether or not we chose to bring them back or not, are Joe Haden and JuJu Smith-Schuster. We’ll let their availability during the course of the week be our guide in terms of their game availability.
“We don’t have a lot of physical work ahead of us this week. Wednesday is a significant day and especially a significant day for guys that fall into that category, in terms of the bumps and bruises associated with play. We had a number of guys who missed the game with preexisting injury. Guys like Trey Edmunds and guys like Jaylen Samuels. I don’t know their statuses as I sit here today. I’m sure we’ll provide some clarity for you guys tomorrow as we get into our work week, if you will.”
So, there you go. Gentry is out Week 12 and likely a lot longer. as for cornerback Joe Haden and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wednesday will be the biggest measuring day when it comes to them both potentially playing on Thursday against the Ravens. On the surface, Smith-Schuster is probably a little sorer than Haden is on Monday morning.
As for the three players held out on Sunday, running backs Trey Edmunds (hamstring) and Jaylen Samuels (quadricep) and outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott (illness), a short week might result in all three missing another game.
The Steelers hope to get tight end Vance McDonald back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list his week as well, according to Tomlin on Monday.
“Vance is scheduled to work tomorrow,” Tomlin said. “He’s been cleared to come back. We’re going to let the quality of his participation and how he responds to that work be our guide in terms of determining his availability.”
Tomlin did not update the stratus of rookie guard Kevin Dotson on Monday, however. Dotson is also curtly on the Reserve/COVID-19 list with McDonald.