On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Steelers issued their first practice report of this week. Seven starters missed practice today, but starting right guard David DeCastro returned and was a “full participant.”
“The schedule for him is to participate this week and let the quality of his participation … be our guide in terms of determining his availability (on Sunday),” said head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday. “We are at that stage now with him.”
There were four players who remained on the sidelines today but are not injured:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
C Maurkice Pouncey
DE Stephon Tuitt
DE Cameron Heyward
Tomlin explained the absence of these four vets by saying, “Some veteran guys, a cumulative effect of their careers, require less physical preparation in an effort to be ready to play. That aids in the preservation of their bodies, but it also provides quality reps for a younger guy who could need those reps and use those reps for game preparation and growth. We feel like we get two things done when we take that approach….”
Meanwhile, both starting wide receivers—JuJu Smith-Schuster (keen) and Diontae Johnson (toe)—missed practice with what appear to be ongoing issues, as they were on last week’s injury report as well.
One player, defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, missed practice today with a knee injury suffered in the Broncos game, though Tomlin has said it probably won’t keep him from playing against the Houston Texans.
“In stadium, we had a number of bumps and bruises associated with play,” noted Tomlin on Tuesday. “Guys could be limited in the early portions of the week, but I doubt it will be significant in terms of their availability.”
Steelers’ Zach Banner Receives 2 Care Packages
Speaking of recovering from injury, Steelers right tackle Zach Banner—who underwent knee surgery to repair a torn ACL last Friday—acknowledged receipt of two care packages, one from former New York Giants lineman Geoff Schwartz, who is now an NFL and college football analyst.
It’s not a surprise that Banner has received a care package or three.
Banner put the word out earlier this week that he wouldn’t mind receiving a selection of Jewish foods, tweeting: “I need my future Jewish wife to bring this assortment to me please. I’m stuck in bed and drooling at this photo. I also heard about matzah ball soup Geoff? Is it as good as they say?”
Now Banner has the opportunity to try matzoh ball soup, along with H&H bagels and lox, straight from New York City. Plus potato pancakes and a selection of foods and spreads from the Smallman Street Deli in Pittsburgh.
Banner Has Teamed with the Jewish Community to Fight Hate
If you’re wondering why Banner has been jonseing for Jewish foods, it’s because he has developed relationships with the Jewish community since speaking out against the hateful, anti-Semitic statements expressed by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson over the summer. That includes teaming up with the New Jersey-based Challah Back Girls to promote social justice and support disenfranchised communities.