Steelers Injury Update: 2 Pro Bowl Linemen Miss Practice

Eric Ebron

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images Eric Ebron of the Pittsburgh Steelers just misses a pass in the back of the end zone against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 25, 2020.

On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Steelers commenced on-field preparations for Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the Baltimore Ravens with a total of 11 players missing practice.

That includes defensive tackle Chris Wormley (knee) and safety Jordan Dangerfield (quadriceps), both of whom were injured during Sunday’s win against the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers haven’t yet released the results of the MRI that Wormley had on Tuesday; on a more positive note, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin previously indicated (on Tuesday) that Dangerfield might be able to return to practice during the latter portion of the week.

Meanwhile, three starters on offense missed practice on Wednesday with elbow issues: left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Eric Ebron.

While Villanueva’s issue is probably nothing more than one of the “bumps and bruises associated with play” (as Tomlin might put it), an injury could put Villanueva’s consecutive games streak in jeopardy. As noted by Ed Bouchette of The Athletic, Villanueva has now started 86 consecutive regular-season games, “the third-longest active streak among NFL offensive tackles,” after Jake Matthews (Atlanta) and Morgan Moses (Washington).

Also remaining on the sidelines on Wednesday was slot cornerback Mike Hilton, who apparently isn’t yet well enough to return from whatever ails his shoulder.

As usual, several longtime veterans were given the day off, namely QB Ben Roethlisberger, DE Stephon Tuitt and OG David DeCastro. Also, as has become a regular occurrence, wide receivers Diontae Johnson (toe) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) missed the first practice of the week due to lingering issues that date back to the earliest games of the season.

Last but not least, fullback Derek Watt was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, a hopeful sign in terms of his ability to come all the way back from his hamstring injury, which appeared to have healed but then flared up against the Cleveland Browns and kept him “out” vs. the Titans.

Baltimore Ravens Injury Report

As for Sunday’s opponent, Baltimore had eight players on its injury/participation report on Wednesday.

Most notably, running back Mark Ingram II missed practice with an ankle and cornerback Marlon Humphrey was sidelined with an unspecified illness.

DE Calais Campbell (NIR) – DNP
QB Robert Griffin III (NIR) – DNP
CB Marlon Humphrey (Illness) – DNP
RB Mark Ingram II (Ankle) – DNP
DB/LB Anthony Levine (Abdomen) – Limited
CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles) – Limited
G Tyre Philips (Hand) – Full
DE Derek Wolfe (Concussion/Neck) – Full

Pittsburgh’s “Protected” Practice Squad Players for Week 8

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has identified the four practice squad players it has chosen to “protect” this week, meaning those players cannot be signed away by another team.

LB Jayrone Elliott
WR Deon Cain
RB Wendell Smallwood
RB Trey Edmunds

All four of the above have been protected at least twice this season, but the most notable name on the list is Edmunds, as it could mean there is doubt as to whether Derek Watt will be able to make a successful return from his hamstring injury.

Edmunds was elevated to Pittsburgh’s active roster for the game against the Titans when Watt couldn’t go, but has since reverted back to the practice squad, as did Elliott (who was also elevated for the Tennessee game).

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