On Friday the Pittsburgh Steelers placed veteran offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski on injured reserve, this according to Tom Pelissero, reporter for NFL.com and NFL Network.
The good news is that Wisniewski’s pectoral injury doesn’t require surgery, according to Pelissero’s source, and he should be able to return sometime this season. But by being placed on injured reserve, Wisniewski will miss forthcoming games against the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, at a minimum.
Meanwhile, All-Pro right guard David DeCastro missed practice again on Thursday and has already been ruled “out” of Sunday’s game against the Broncos with a knee injury.
That means rookie fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson is in line to start at right guard against the Broncos, a daunting prospect for a rookie, but especially for one who missed much of training camp with a knee injury of his own.
Right Tackle An Issue, Too
The situation is almost as challenging at right tackle, as starter Zach Banner is already out for the year with a torn ACL. As a result, third-year man Chuks Okorafor is expected to get the start at right tackle this week.
Meanwhile, it appears that Derwin Gray is set to be the reserve tackle for this week’s game, as he has been recalled from Pittsburgh’s practice squad.
Gray was a seventh-round pick of the Steelers in the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Maryland. He spent all of last season on the team’s practice squad and has yet to appear in an NFL game.
James Conner’s Injury Status
The news is better for Steelers starting running back James Conner, who successfully got through two consecutive days of practice and is expected to play on Sunday.
“I keep getting treatment on [my ankle] and just keep feeling it out,” Conner said after practice on Friday, “but definitely trending in the right direction.”
“It was just something that it didn’t feel right [on Monday],” Conner added. “It hurt when I put pressure on it. I am not sure exactly how it happened. Not an old aggravated injury, no. I am feeling good now. So it’s all good.”
Broncos Place CB A.J. Bouye on Injured Reserve
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s opponent on Sunday—the Denver Broncos—have injury issues of their own. Earlier this week the Broncos placed No. 1 cornerback A.J. Bouye on IR after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Titans on Monday night.
In Bouye’s absence the Broncos plan to use Bryce Callahan and Michael Ojemudia at cornerback, with undrafted rookie free agent Essang Bassey at slot cornerback.
Expect Ben Roethlisberger and his No. 1-No. 4 receivers—JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington and Chase Claypool—to try to take advantage of Bouye’s absence to make big plays downfield in the passing game.
On the other side of the ball, Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton, a 2019 Pro Bowler, is questionable for Sunday’s game.
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