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2022 South Side Questions: Will Steelers Have A Full Backfield In Atlanta?

The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.

There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.

Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.

There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.

Question: Will the Steelers have a full complement of running backs in Atlanta?

Even though they had three running backs on the injury report this week, none have been ruled out for tomorrow’s game. In fact, the only one who practiced every day is the only one who is listed as questionable, and the fact that he was listed as such was kind of met with surprise.

That would be Jaylen Warren, who told reporters earlier in the week that he had been cleared. The fact that he went on to have a full week of practice and is still listed as questionable is odd. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that for a player who has a soft-tissue injury, rather than something like a concussion or a major ligament tear.

The fact that the NFL several years ago did away with the ‘probable’ injury designation may well be making this more confusing than it should be. And I imagine that’s why they did away with it in the first place, because reasons.

Surprisingly, starting Najee Harris will apparently be out there. He left Monday’s game with an oblique injury that sent him to the hospital by halftime to get checked out. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but then practiced on Friday and was not given any injury status at all.

Likewise, running back Benny Snell Jr. missed a bit of practice time this week, but he was not on the final injury report with a game designation, so the Steelers figure to have at least Harris and Snell, with Warren a possibility as well—I would say more likely than not. But if not, Anthony McFarland Jr. would be elevated from the practice squad again. And he did pretty good last time he was up.

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