On Tuesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers released their first (actual) injury/participation report of the week, and a number of new issues came to light. Most notably, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was listed as “limited” in practice Tuesday with a quadriceps issue. Also limited was defensive tackle Cameron Heyward (ankle) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (foot), the latter of whom was limping noticeably on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 27-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meanwhile, three Steelers players missed practice entirely as a result of injury, including cornerback Joe Haden, who hurt his knee during the Jaguars game but returned to play after a brief absence. Running backs Trey Edmunds and Jaylen Samuels remain sidelined with hamstring and quad injuries, respectively, the same ailments that caused them to be listed as inactive vs. the Jaguars.
There were also two players held out of practice for non-injury reasons, namely, center Maurkice Pouncey and offensive guard David DeCastro.
In a bit of good news, linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who missed the Jacksonville game with an illness, returned to practice on Tuesday.
Baltimore Ravens Injury/COVID-19 Update
However, whatever injury issues are plaguing the Steelers probably pale in comparison to the challenges currently facing the Baltimore Ravens.
First off, the Ravens did not practice on Monday after two running backs tested positive for COVID-19. The team went on to cancel practice on Tuesday as well, after more players and staffers tested positive for the virus.
But if the Ravens had practiced on Tuesday, they would have had three players miss practice due to injury or illness, with three others being “limited.”
DE Calais Campbell (Calf) – DNP
CB Jimmy Smith (Ankle) – DNP
DE Derek Wolfe (Illness) – DNP
TE Mark Andrews (Thigh) – Limited
OLB Matthew Judon (Ankle) – Limited
OG Tyre Phillips (Ankle) – Limited
To date, Baltimore has handled all of its preparations for the Steelers game remotely.
Never mind that Baltimore currently has 10 players on its injured reserve list and five more on its COVID-19 reserve list, including defensive tackle Brandon Williams, tenth-year RB Mark Ingram II and rookie running back J.K. Dobbins, the latter of whom is now the team’s No. 1 tailback.
Steelers Roster Moves (Tuesday)
In case you missed them, the Steelers made a series of roster moves on Tuesday, mostly involving the team’s tight end group. Second-year tight end Zach Gentry (knee) was placed on injured reserve while No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald was activated off the COVID-19 Reserve list.
The Steelers also elevated tight end Kevin Rader from the practice squad to the active roster and signed linebacker/long snapper Christian Kuntz to the practice squad.
Practice Squad Protected Players (Week 12)
Last but not least, on Tuesday Pittsburgh also named the four practice squad players it has chosen to protect this week, those being:
Rookie safety Antoine Brooks
Wide receiver Deon Cain
Running back Wendell Smallwood
Punter Corliss Waitman
The inclusion of Waitman’s name on the list is especially notable, as the Steelers appear to be moving toward keeping a backup punter, long snapper and placekicker on the practice squad, though a backup kicker has not yet been signed.
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