On Christmas Eve the Pittsburgh Steelers issued their third and final participation/injury report of the week. As such, we already know that rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the AFC’s No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs. Freiermuth remains in concussion protocol, having been injured in last Sunday’s victory over the No. 2 seeded Tennessee Titans.
Also ruled out are a pair of defenders, namely defensive end Chris Wormley (groin) and rookie linebacker Buddy Johnson (foot).
But almost everyone else on Friday’s injury report was a full participant in practice on Christmas Eve, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (pectoral/right shoulder), tight end Kevin Rader (hip), left tackle Dan Moore Jr. (illness) and cornerback Joe Haden, the latter of whom was held out of practice on Wednesday due to “coaches decision.”
With Freiermuth out of the lineup, backup Zach Gentry figures to get the start. Freiermuth has 49 catches for 422 yards and seven touchdowns this season while Gentry has 10 receptions for 97 yards.
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Defensive Tackle Montravius Adams Activated
In other news from Friday, the Steelers activated defensive lineman Montravius Adams from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, paving the way for him to return to the lineup this weekend. Adams was signed off the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints on November 30, and he has since played in two games while being credited with four tackles, two quarterback hits and one pass defensed. The former third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers has 52 games of NFL experience, with two of his six career starts coming with the Steelers.
On the downside, Pittsburgh has added five players to its Reserve/COVID-19 list in recent days. On Wednesday December 22 it was inside linebacker Devin Bush, offensive tackle Zach Banner and linebacker Marcus Allen getting sidelined. On Thursday December 23 the Steelers added running back Anthony McFarland Jr. and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Meanwhile, left guard Kevin Dotson returned to practice on Wednesday, starting the clock on a 21-day window to move him from injured reserve to the 53-man roster. If he is not activated within that time frame, he must sit out for the remainder of the year. Dotson has been on injured reserve since November 20, having suffered a significant-looking ankle injury during an ugly, 16-16 tie against the Detroit Lions on November 14, 2021.
Ben Roethlisberger Wins ‘Friendly’ Wager with Mean Joe Greene
On Thursday December 23 the Miami Redhawks defeated the North Texas Mean Green 27-14 in the Frisco Football Classic at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. As such, Steelers Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene is obligated to send Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a personalized/autographed jersey, as per the terms of the “friendly” wager they agreed to earlier this week.
With the bowl victory, Miami finished its season 7-6 while North Texas dropped to 6-7.
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