Smith-Schuster has been on the team’s injury report with a knee issue at various times this season, including back in October and at several different times in September. It’s an issue that may date back to the season opener against the New York Giants.
Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs—who attracted attention last weekend when he got into an altercation with teammate Carlos Davis during the season finale against the Browns—was the only other Steelers player to miss practice on Thursday, with his absence attributed to an illness.
Otherwise, Thursday’s injury report contained good news for the Steelers. Not only did strong safety Terrell Edmunds practice in full for the second day in a row, but kicker Chris Boswell (right groin), cornerback Steven Nelson (knee), defensive end Tyson Alualu (ankle) and inside linebacker Vince Williams (quadriceps) were all full participants after either being DNP or limited participants yesterday.
Cleveland Browns COVID-19 Situation
Meanwhile, concern is escalating in Cleveland (and NFL headquarters in New York) about the COVID-19 situation. On Thursday, the Browns added two players—safety Ronnie Harrison and practice squad linebacker Montrel Meander—to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. (Safety Andrew Sendejo was removed from the list at the same time.)
The league has noted that it won’t reschedule any games—including postseason games—for competitive imbalance issues (like a position group being totally wiped out). However, an uncontrolled outbreak could conceivably lead to a schedule change.
So it’s worth noting that when the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, appeared on NFL Network on Thursday afternoon, he advised that “there was some spread one individual to another” among the Browns’ latest test results.
This contrasts with other recent positive tests, which were considered “community spread.”
At the moment, the Browns have seven roster players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list as well as a pair of practice squad players.
Those players include offensive guard Joel Bitonio and cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson, as well as tight end Harrison Bryant and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge.
Cleveland also has a handful of coaches who will be sidelined for Sunday’s game against the Steelers, including head coach Kevin Stefanski.
Zach Banner Wishes Ramon Foster a Happy Birthday
On a lighter note, Steelers right tackle Zach Banner took the opportunity to recently-retired Steelers right guard Ramon Foster a happy birthday today via Twitter.
Being that he’s on injured reserve recovering from the ACL tear he suffered against the New York Giants, Banner has plenty of time to engage in banter with former teammates (and utilize Photoshop).
Following is his birthday tweet to Foster, who now co-hosts a sports talk radio show in Nashville on weekday mornings.
Happy Birthday to my brother @RamonFoster !!!
Sit back, and relax! Enjoy your day off to yourself!
I got you covered… 😉😘 pic.twitter.com/WBpop0GdMX
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 7, 2021
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