Though there is no official injury report and we don’t have eyes on practice the way we did at training camp, we can take a glimpse into the health of the Pittsburgh Steelers as they get set for their preseason finale this weekend. Speaking to reporters after practice, Mike Tomlin offered a brief update on ILB Marcus Allen.
Allen has battled a hamstring injury since the middle of training camp. He failed to return in full by camp’s end but worked in limited fashion over the final two days, practicing in individual and positional sessions. Though Tomlin didn’t explicitly say it, it sounds like Allen worked in team drills today, meaning he should have a good chance to play in Sunday’s preseason finale against the Detroit Lions. Allen is trying to secure his roster spot as the #4 ILB, battling Mark Robinson and Buddy Johnson throughout the summer. Provided he’s 100% healthy for week one, Allen’s odds of making the team remain good for what he offers on special teams, particularly as the Steelers’ starting upback on the punt team.
Tomlin was also asked if rookie WR Calvin Austin III was fully healthy. Tomlin said Austin is not but the line of questioning may indicate Austin is trending closer to a return.
Tomlin didn’t comment on the health of any other players but we can glean two more pieces of information from practice. Based on video showing Ben Roethlisberger’s return to the team facility, we spotted FB Derek Watt working in pads while OT Joe Haeg wasn’t fully dressed. Watt has missed about two weeks with a shoulder injury but, like Allen, seemed close to a return by training camp’s end. Watt seems on track to play Sunday afternoon. Tomlin revealed Monday that Haeg is in concussion protocol. It’s unclear if Haeg will pass his tests in time to suit up. He’s potentially battling Pat Meyer-favorite Trent Scott for a roster spot.
Other Steelers known to be injured include OLB Alex Highsmith (ribs) and NT Montravius Adams (ankle). It’s not known if either returned to practice.