The good news is that several key players who were limited participants in practice earlier in the week — including defensive captain Cam Heyward (ankle/elbow) and starting wide receiver Diontae Johnson (hip) — were full participants on Friday and will play on Sunday.
The bad news is that the Steelers will be without at least one starting defensive back against the Bills, and there’s a good chance that three starting DBs will miss the game.
The “Steelers secondary isn’t is as much trouble as it could be, but it’s still not great,” related Brooke Pryor of ESPN, while noting that cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has already been ruled out.
In addition, fellow starting cornerback Cameron Sutton and starting strong safety Terrell Edmunds are listed as questionable, with Sutton having been limited in practice by groin and hamstring injuries and Edmunds still in the concussion protocol, having been concussed last Sunday against the Jets.
If Edmunds ends up missing the Bills game, it will be just the second regular-season contest he has missed in his four-plus year career, a remarkable run of durability for an “all-average team” player whose “best ability is his availability,” as Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin once put it.
Moreover, All-Pro free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and cornerback Levi Wallace probably aren’t 100% healthy either. Fitzpatrick has a knee injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday, and he didn’t return to full participation until Friday. It’s been a similar situation for cornerback Levi Wallace — who will almost certainly play against his old team — but has been nursing a foot injury that kept him limited until Friday.
The only other players of injury interest are Steelers center Mason Cole (foot), who was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and reserve defensive lineman Chris Wormley, who is working his way back from an ankle injury.
Buffalo Bills Injury Update
Meanwhile, Buffalo has 17 players on its Week 5 injury report, but only five have been ruled out against the Steelers.
At the top of list is safety Jordan Poyer, who suffered a rib injury against the Ravens last weekend, but before he intercepted two passes that allowed him to win AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Also ruled out are: tight end Dawson Knox (foot/hamstring); wide receivers Jake Kumerow (ankle) and Jamison Crowder (ankle); as well as cornerback Christian Benford (hand). Terrell Edmunds’ brother, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Ex-Steelers LBs Bud Dupree, Ola Adeniyi Ruled out Against Washington
Meanwhile, former Steelers outside linebackers Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi have been ruled out of Tennessee’s Week 5 game against the Washington Commanders.
For Dupree, it will be the second game he has missed thus far this season, having been sidelined for Tennessee’s win over the Raiders after he was injured in Week 2 against the Bills. The former 1st-round pick has recorded two tackles this year, with one tackle for loss, one sack, two quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries.
The news prompted this tweet from a Nashville-area Titans fan:
Recall that Dupree signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Titans in March 2021. Before he signed with the Titans in free agency, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus called Dupree “overrated” and the “classic buyer-beware candidate at the edge position.”