Today the Pittsburgh Steelers issued their first injury report of the week, which makes it abundantly clear that the injuries are piling up on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, almost every starter on offense missed practice today.
According to Pittsburgh’s Week 2 Injury Report, nine starters missed practice on Wednesday, with only two of those players out due to “Coach’s Decision.”
Those two were quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey.
For his part, Roethlisberger just feels banged up after not having played a game in a year, telling the media, “Yesterday I felt like I was in a train wreck. Today I feel like I was in a car wreck. Hopefully tomorrow I just feel like I fell off a bike.”
Roethlisberger on soreness: "I was saying today I feel like I was just in a car accident. Yesterday I felt like I was in a trainwreck. Hopefully tomorrow it'll feel like I just fell off a bike.
"I'm definitely sore. The good news is my arm is the only thing that doesn't hurt."
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 16, 2020
But the rest of the injury report is a lot more worrisome, as it includes almost all of the other starters on offense, plus one key defensive starter.
WR Diontae Johnson (Toe) – DNP
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Knee) – DNP
RB James Conner (Ankle) – DNP
OG Stefan Wisniewski (Chest) – DNP
OG David Decastro (Knee) – DNP
DE Stephon Tuitt (Achilles) – DNP
OT Zach Banner (Knee) – DNP
In addition, OT Alejandro Villanueva did not practice today due to illness. Villanueva stirred up a media firestorm on Tuesday by choosing to cover the Antwon Rose Jr. decal on his helmet during Monday night’s game, instead displaying the name of the late Alwyn Cashe, an Army sergeant who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and may soon be awarded the Medal of Honor.
On Monday morning the Steelers announced that all players would be wearing Antwon Rose Jr. decals on their helmets this season. After Villenueva did not do so on Monday night, the longtime Steelers left tackle and former Army Ranger was called out by Rose’s mother, which forced team leaders like Cameron Heyward to address the issue with the media.
Steelers Bring Back OT Jerald Hawkins
In a roster move today, the Steelers placed offensive tackle Zach Banner on injured reserve and confirmed the signing of Jerald Hawkins, which was reported on Tuesday.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 16, 2020
Hawkins was Pittsburgh’s fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Banner is scheduled to have surgery on his torn ACL on Friday and will be out for the rest of the 2020 season.
Denver Broncos Injury Report
It’s worth noting that Sunday’s opponent at Heinz Field is a banged up team as well. Steelers fans will recognize the name at the top of Denver’s injury list, linebacker Mark Barron (Hamstring). The Broncos signed Barron last month to address a shortage of linebacker depth—a shortage that is now even more acute.
Three other Broncos did not practice on Wednesday: Cornerback A.J. Bouye (shoulder); safety Kareem Jackson; and running back Phillip Lindsay (toe). Three of the players on Denver’s injury list were full participants at practice: Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (knee); wide receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring); and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (hip).
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