On Wednesday the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) held their first of three practices in advance of Sunday afternoon’s game against the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Most notably, three players missed practice due to either illness or injury, with running back Trey Edmunds out with a hamstring injury suffered against the Bengals, and fellow RB Jaylen Samuels sidelined by a quadriceps issue.
Meanwhile, linebacker Jayrone Elliott was held out of practice due to an illness, a designation we seem to be seeing more and more often on the participation report.
3 Players Returned to Practice
There was also quite a bit of good news from an injury perspective. First, rookie running back Anthony McFarland returned to practice after being held out of the sessions last Thursday and Friday due to an unspecified illness. (He was also inactive for the 36-10 win over the Bengals.)
Backup defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs (ankle) was also a full participant on Wednesday after missing the Bengals game.
Finally, in perhaps the best news of all, slot cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) was back at practice as a full participant. Hilton hasn’t played since the 38-7 win over Cleveland in Week 6, and the four games he has been absent are the only games he has missed since he broke into Pittsburgh’s lineup in 2017.
Also, as per usual for a Wednesday, a half-dozen veterans had practice off, including center Maurkice Pouncey, right guard David DeCastro, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, defensive end Stephon Tuitt and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Meanwhile, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who also enjoyed a “maintenance day” on Wednesday) half-jokingly lobbied head coach Mike Tomlin for extra time off this week after he played so well against the Bengals, despite missing all three of last week’s practices. But Tomlin rejected the idea of additional load management for Big Ben, who responded to Roethlisberger’s query by saying, “I’ll see you at practice on Thursday.”
Never mind that Roethlisberger was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort against Cincinnati. Or that the Steelers will have a quick turnaround after the Jaguars game, with a Thanksgiving Night tilt against the Baltimore Ravens scheduled just four days later.
Chris Wormley Returns, Too
In one other bit of good news, defensive lineman Chris Wormley (knee) also returned to practice on Wednesday, though he remains on the injured reserve list. The Steelers now have 21 days to promote him to the active roster, or he must remain on IR for the rest of the 2020 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars Injury Update
As for Sunday’s opponent, the Jaguars had a dozen players who either missed practice or were limited participants on Wednesday.
That includes starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II (thumb), who the Jaguars have already ruled ‘out’ against the Steelers, so a rookie QB will start in his place. That also includes Jacksonville’s No. 1 running back, undrafted rookie James Robinson (shoulder), who already has 155 carries for 689 yards and five touchdowns.
Former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert—who seems to be perpetually injured—also did not practice, ostensibly due to a “scheduled day off.”
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