Steelers’ Injury Update: 5 Players Miss Practice, Key Lineman Returns


Joe Sargent/Getty Images Eric Ebron of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a catch against the Houston Texans on September 27, 2020.

On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Steelers commenced on-field preparations for Sunday afternoon’s AFC North showdown against the Cleveland Browns and five players—all of them starters on offense—missed practice due to injury.

Those five players were:
WR Diontae Johnson (Back)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Knee)
C Maurkice Pouncey (Foot)
OG David DeCastro (Abs)
TE Eric Ebron (Hand)

Johnson and Smith-Schuster have become regulars on the Wednesday injury list, with Smith-Schuster apparently nursing a chronic issue that appears to date back to the New York Giants game.

Pouncey has also been a regular on the Wednesday injury list, except it’s usually a veteran’s maintenance day; now he’s dealing with “a foot injury of some kind,” as Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin put it on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, DeCastro just got over a knee injury that has plagued him since training camp; now he’s got an abdominal strain that forced him to the sidelines during the Philadelphia Eagles game and may keep him out against the Browns.

But the biggest news of the day is a brand-new injury—to tight end Eric Ebron. Anytime a pass-catcher has a hand or finger injury that’s cause for concern, as Steelers fans saw with wide receiver Donte Moncrief early last season.

It’s also worth noting that outside linebacker T.J. Watt was a “limited participant” in today’s practice (shoulder), indicating that he’s not yet over whatever issue was bothering him against the Eagles.

Finally, as is custom, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and defensive end Stephon Tuitt sat out Wednesday’s practice (coach’s decision) to save them from wear and tear.

Good News from the Injury/Participation Report

There was also some good news today from an injury perspective. First and foremost, offensive lineman Stephen Wisniewski returned to practice for the first time since he suffered a chest injury in the season opener against the Giants.

As Steelers Director of Communications Burt Lauten noted in his tweet (above), Wisniewski remains on the injured reserve list and the Steelers now have 21 days to put him on the active roster or he must remain on IR for the rest of the season. That would seem to indicate that the team believes he’ll be ready to return within the next few weeks, which is welcome news as the Steelers have relatively few injuries except for all that ails the offensive line.

Cleveland Browns Injury Report

As for the Browns, they put 13 players on their injury report today, five of whom missed practice entirely and seven of whom were limited participants. The most significant limited participants? Those would be quarterback Baker Mayfield (chest) and center JC Tretter (knee).

The five players who missed practice entirely were:
S Ronnie Harrison (Concussion)
S Karl Joseph (Hamstring)
WR Jarvis Landry (Hip/Ribs)
LB Jacob Phillips (Knee)
OG Wyatt Teller (Calf)

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has already indicted that Teller is unlikely to be available by Sunday. His spot on the line will likely be manned by former Steelers right tackle Chris Hubbard, who came to the Browns via free agency in 2018 but has since been relegated to a backup role.

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