While the Pittsburgh Steelers had a bye week to get healthy, they still enter Week 10 with plenty of bumps and bruises. During his Tuesday press conference, Mike Tomlin outlined players working through injury as the team gets ready for the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. Those players include:
LB Myles Jack – knee
LS Christian Kuntz – ribs
CB Ahkello Witherspoon – hamstring
CB William Jackson III – back
CB Levi Wallace – shoulder
DT Larry Ogunjobi – knee
K Chris Boswell – groin
Tomlin said practice would determine the availability of all those men, though he indicated Kuntz’s rib injury probably wouldn’t hinder his ability to play this weekend.
“Some of these guys worked in some capacities yesterday,” Tomlin said. “As we get on the clock Wednesday and get in our normal flow, we’ll let their participation be our guide and the quality that work in terms of us making decisions about whether to utilize them or how often we utilize them.”
Some of these injuries are ones players have missed time with like Wallace, Ogunjobi, and Boswell. Tomlin also mentioned Witherspoon with the hamstring injury that caused him to miss a month of the season. After the Eagles’ game, Tomlin said Witherspoon was healthy.
Jackson, who the Steelers traded for last week, reportedly missed Monday’s practice. We’ll see if he is able to work Wednesday when the team returns to the field.
On a more optimistic note, Tomlin seemed confident OLB T.J. Watt and S Damontae Kazee would come off IR and play this weekend.
“We’ve been optimistic about their inclusion this week,” Tomlin said about Watt and Kazee. “We’ve got some work ahead of us and got some reaction to that work, how they feel coming off of the work, etc.. And so we’ll just continue to monitor those guys and make appropriate decisions regarding them as we get closer to the game time.”
Watt has been out since Week 2 with a pectoral and knee injury while Kazee broke his arm in the preseason finale.
The Steelers will return to practice tomorrow and release their first official injury report Wednesday. They’ll host the Saints this Sunday at 1 PM/EST. New Orleans is coming off a short week and dealing with a fair list of injuries themselves.