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2022 Stock Watch – WR Calvin Austin III – Stock Down

Now that training camp is over with the Pittsburgh Steelers back in Pittsburgh and gearing up for what they hope will be a much more productive season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of training camp and the preseason and the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: WR Calvin Austin III

Stock Value: Down

Reasoning: Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed yesterday that rookie wide receiver Calvin Austin III is still not participating in the team’s practices, at least on a full-time basis, since injuring his foot on the Friday before the first preseason game. While his roster spot is very unlikely to be in jeopardy, he is also unlikely to see much playing time in the near future if he dresses at all due to the time missed.

It was nearly a week ago that Adam Schefter reported on ESPN that rookie wide receiver Calvin Austin III was generating buzz in the Steelers’ training camp at Saint Vincent College. By that point, it had already been a week since he had last practiced, injuring his foot on August 12.

It will be two full weeks since the injury tomorrow. At this point, it should be taken as a given that he will not participate in the Steelers’ final preseason game, meaning that he will have gotten no preseason action at all heading into his rookie year.

That is bound to translate to a very small role, if any, for the near future. Indeed, it is a distinct possibility that he begins his career as a healthy scratch—when he is healthy. Head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed following practice yesterday that he is not yet at a point of full participation—he didn’t actually confirm if he was practicing at all or not, but it was perhaps implied that he was working on at least a limited basis.

But with Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and George Pickens already at the top of the depth chart, and Gunner Olszewski and Miles Boykin also showing indications of their ability to contribute offensively—the former demonstrating shiftiness out of the slot and YAC ability, the latter making contested catches on third downs—and both being special teams contributors to boot, it’s quite easy to envision a scenario in which Austin will have to bide his time before he gets a helmet.

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