Steelers Injury Update: Chase Claypool, Najee Harris & More

Chase Claypool

Nick Cammett/Getty Images Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sidelines before a game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 31, 2021.

On Friday the Pittsburgh Steelers held their third and final practice in the runup to Sunday’s home game against the winless Detroit Lions (0-8). Afterwards, the team issued its last injury/participation report of the week, revealing that second-year wide receiver Chase Claypool has been ruled out with a toe injury after missing practice for a second consecutive day.

All six of the other injured players were full participants in practice in Friday, including rookie running back Najee Harris (foot) and rookie center Kendrick Green (hamstring), both of whom were limited in practice on Thursday.

For what it’s worth, Harris did not speak to the media on Friday, a day in which he is typically available. But per Brooke Pryor of ESPN, second-year offensive guard Kevin Dotson did speak with reporters, and said he believes the former first-round pick will be in the lineup on Sunday.

Meanwhile, tight end Eric Ebron (hamstring) figures to be well enough to play after missing Monday night’s win over the Chicago Bears. None of the four other players on the injury list—QB Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/right shoulder), DL Cam Heyward (ankle), LB Robert Spillane (ankle) and DT Isaiah Buggs (hip)—have missed game time with their ailments.

Pittsburgh’s Depth at Wide Receiver: Tested

With Chase Claypool out of the lineup and JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the season with a shoulder injury, Pittsburgh is getting pretty far into its depth at the wide receiver position.

Diontae Johnson and James Washington figure to be the starters against the Lions, with kick returner Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White the third and fourth options. Anthony Miller is the most likely of the three wide receivers on the practice squad to be elevated for Sunday’s game, with the other options being Steven Sims or Tyler Vaughns.

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Steelers-Related Roster Moves

In other news, on Thursday the New England Patriots worked out three punters, one of whom was former Steelers punter Corliss Waitman.

Waitman signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He went on to spend the entire 2020 season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad, then inked a one-year Reserve/Future contract with the team in January 2021. The Steelers waived him a few days after selecting Pressley Harvin III in the seventh-round of the 2021 Draft.

Also on Thursday, Tennessee signed former Steelers cornerback Breon Borders to its practice squad, just two days after cutting him from the 53-man roster.

Borders signed with the Steelers in April 2020 but was released that same August to make room for former third-round pick Justin Layne.

Finally, on Thursday the New Orleans Saints activated tight end Nick Vannett from the Reserve/Injured list.

Vannett signed with the Saints in March 2021, but has yet to play for New Orleans this season.

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