After missing all but two games a season ago, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is set to make his much-awaited return to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ lineup vs. the New York Giants on Monday. Or is he? The two-time Super Bowl-winning signal-caller was held out of the Steelers’ practice on Saturday, the team’s final tune-up before taking take the field for Week 1.
While curious, Roethlisberger still appears to be on track to play vs. Big Blue. The quarterback’s missed practice was labeled a “coach’s decision” and he was not given a game designation on the team’s injury report on Saturday.
Aside from Big Ben, Pittsburgh carries two other quarterbacks on the active roster, Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs. Rudolph started eight games a season ago, tossing 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions alongside a 62.2-percent completion percentage. Dobbs is actually entering his second stint with Pittsburgh. A former 2017 fourth-round pick of the Steelers, the team opted to trade him to Jacksonville in 2019, but reunited with him one week ago after the Jags waived him.
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WR Diontae Johnson Up, G David DeCastro Out
Wideout Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh’s second-leading returning receiver, practiced fully on Saturday and is set to play in Week 1 after being left off the team’s injury report on Saturday. Johnson had previously missed practice on Thursday due to a foot injury.
One player that wasn’t left off the injury report was Steelers guard David DeCastro. The five-time Pro Bowler has been officially ruled out for Monday night due to a lower-body injury sustained in a Steelers simulated game approximately two weeks ago.
Offseason addition Stefen Wisniewski is expected to man the role left behind by DeCastro at right guard. A reigning Super Bowl Champion with the Chiefs a season ago, Wisniewski has started an average of just 6.5 games per season over the past four years. This, after averaging 15.4 starts over his first five years in the league.
Lining up aside Wisniewski will be another fairly new face to the lineup. Right tackle Zach Banner, who Mike Tomlin named the starter on Wednesday, appeared in 14 games with the Steelers in 2019, yet started only one.
Giants Injury Report
While Pittsburgh’s Diontae Johnson is good to go for Monday, Giants wide receiver Golden Tate’s availability is much more of an unknown. Tate, who suffered a hamstring injury nearly two weeks ago, has officially been listed as questionable for Week 1. However, he appears to be trending in the right direction having practiced each of the past three days.
Linebacker Tae Crowder and tight end Levine Toilolo join Tate as the only other two Giants listed on the team’s injury report, each of whom are also suffering from hamstring injuries and also carry a questionable tag.
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