It’s not always clear who is with the team when they travel when they are injured; there are no rules requiring injured players to travel to away games if they are able. But it was noted, and notable, that Melvin Ingram did not travel with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday after suspiciously creeping up on the injury report with a groin injury.
Both he and tight end Eric Ebron had been ruled out before the game, the latter with a knee injury. But he not only was present on the sidelines for his teammates, he was very much engaged, and rooting on for Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry as they made plays in his place.
“He’s got a larger-than-life personality. He’s always animated, and he was very happy for us when we were coming off the sidelines”, Gentry told reporters about Ebron’s presence during the game yesterday, via the team’s media department.
“It says a lot that he was willing to travel”, he added. “I talked to him just the day before the game, and he was like, ‘oh yeah, I’m traveling, I’m gonna take a team bus and everything’. It was surprising, and it was nice for him to be there and be a part of it”.
There is a sense that the Steelers will be working out a trade for Ingram today, who is said to not want to be in Pittsburgh anymore due to his feeling that he is not getting the playing time that he deserves. While many seem to want to ship Ebron away, however, there doesn’t appear to be any movement there, nor desire for that matter.
While the former Pro Bowler has just seven receptions on the season for 47 yards, he did log 185 snaps for the Steelers through the first six games of the season before missing Sunday’s game due to the knee injury that should hopefully not linger.
It is unclear what kind of market there would be for him, anyway, and I don’t think it would be worth it to trade him if you’re going to get next to nothing out of it. He is still capable of making big plays, and clutch plays, like his strong third-down grab through traffic and contact that he had against the Seattle Seahawks.
Through it all, and particularly as he has grown and matured, I do believe that the 28-year-old is a team player in the right environment. I see no indications that he has any plans of becoming a ‘problem’. If he ends up having his role reduced in favor of Freiermuth and Gentry, he’ll still cheer them on.
Even if he ‘knows’ in his head that he still could and should be contributing and making some of those plays he’s watching these younger players making.