4 Steelers Hurt During Saturday Night Practice

Robert-Spillane-Joe-Haden

Christian Petersen/Getty Images Cornerback Joe Haden #23 celebrates with linebacker Robert Spillane #41 after an interception against the Arizona Cardinals during a game in December 2019.

Today the Pittsburgh Steelers held a nighttime padded practice at Heinz Field, the first and perhaps only nighttime practice of training camp.

Afterwards head coach Mike Tomlin held a virtual press conference, during which he revealed that four players were injured during practice.

“We had a couple of injuries that occurred during the course of practice that are being evaluated,” said Tomlin. “[Robert] Spillane had a finger that’s being evaluated. [Wendell] Smallwood had a shoulder. [Kameron] Canaday had a knee and [Chris] Wormley had a shoulder. We don’t know the significance of any of those injuries I mentioned. We don’t expect any of them to be significant, but as I get an update I’ll provide it.”

Of course, an injury to Kam Canaday is by definition significant, because he is the long-snapper—the only one on the team. If he’s sidelined for any length of time it’s likely the Steelers will bring in another long-snapper.

Tomlin did note that center/guard Stefen Wisniewski is getting evaluated as a possible candidate to serve as emergency long-snapper, as is tight end Vance McDonald. Center Maurkice Pouncey has also long-snapped in practice in the past.

The next-most-significant of the four injuries may be the one to Wormley, if only because he has already missed time at camp due to injury.


Players That Missed the Saturday Night Practice

In addition to all of the above, Tomlin noted that offensive guard David DeCastro, safety Terrell Edmunds, wide receiver Diontae Johnson, running back James Conner, offensive guard Kevin Dotson and defensive end Stephon Tuitt all missed practice, as did Maurkice Pouncey, the latter for personal reasons.

Tomlin didn’t get into specifics regarding the players on the above list, but he did allude to “COVID proceedings,” saying, “Again, we have guys continuing to work back into full participation, guys like James Washington and others. We [also] had a number of guys that we held out of work or missed work today because they’re caught up in COVID proceedings or procedures. No one to mention at this time in terms of being on the COVID list, but they are in the procedure and we’re going to exercise all precaution like we normally do and make sure that we adhere to it to the fullest. I’ll have a further update, I’m sure, on the status of those guys the next time we come back.”

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Punt and Kickoff Returners

In other news from tonight, the Steelers took a look at punt and kickoff returners during the special teams portion of practice. According to Bob Labriola of Steelers.com, the players working as kickoff returners included Ryan Switzer, Deon Cain, Kerrith Whyte, James Pierre and rookie running back Anthony McFarland. The punt returners were Switzer, Pierre, Cam Sutton and recent free agent acquisition Ray-Ray McCloud.

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