The Steelers kick off their home schedule with a fierce matchup against an AFC North rival.
It is time to take a look into who will be available to play and who will not Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is the weekly Steelers injury report. Lets hope I do not whiff on anybody like I did in Week 1.
The Steelers were not at full strength for week 1. Although injuries are a realistic conundrum for the majority of NFL teams, the next man up behind each respective injury was able to do their job well enough to result in a 38-16 clobbering of the Washington Redskins.
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If those injured cannot go for week 2, Coach Tomlin will plug the correct player to fill that hole. I will not go into detail about players on the IR unless significant news surfaces.
Ryan Shazier, LB (Knee) Questionable: The Steelers young defensive star left the game and did not return Monday night with a knee injury suffered in the 4th quarter. No new updates since Monday have surfaced according to Coach Tomlin. He was not a participant in practice Wednesday, although he feels optimistic about his return for Sundays game.
Injuries are not new for the young linebacker. Shazier has been plagued during his career. His rookie season resulted in him missing a total of 6 games with knee and ankle injuries. In the 2015 season, Shazier left week 2 early with a shoulder injury, resulting in him missing 4 additional games.
Although Shazier has not seen the field as much as Steelers Nation would like, his injury history should come as no surprise. Shazier was an undersized speedster coming out of college, who needed to bulk up to endure the brutality of the NFL. Although he improved his size, Shazier is not physically where he should be in order to play a full season with the Steelers.
On the up-and-up:
Markus Wheaton, WR (Shoulder) Day-to-day: Wheaton was a full participant during Wednesdays practice after missing Mondays game at Washington. Although listed as day-to-day this week similar to last, him practicing with no limitation is an encouraging sign for the Steelers. Wheaton did not practice week 1, although listed day-to-day. The fact Wheaton’s on the field as early as Wednesday gives a strong indication that he will be ready for week 2’s divisional match up vs the Cincinnati Bengals. For any reason he cannot go, expect to see more of Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates.
Cody Wallace, C (Knee) Day-to-day: Backup offensive lineman Cody Wallace was a full participant in Wednesdays practice. Wallace suffered a hyperextended knee during the Steelers preseason match up against the Philadelphia Eagles. Although not a starter, Wallace is a viable part of the Steelers offense. Wallace is a utility man, being able to play guard on the offensive line along with playing center. Having him available is beneficial just in case something happens to a starter. Wallace has filled in often in recent years due to injuries suffered by other offensive lineman.
Roosevelt Nix, FB (Back) Day-to-day: No new developments have been made on the Steelers lone fullback. Nix missed Mondays game against Washington, but is still listed as day-to-day.
Officially listed as DNP, Nix was absent from practice Wednesday. There is no indication whether Nix will play week 2 against the Bengals.
Tomlin: Significant chance to return Sunday: Wheaton, Wallace, Nix
DeAngelo Williams, RB, (Rest) Not injury Related: The veteran running back DeAngelo Williams was sidelined Wednesday to rest. The 33 year old Williams has 143 yards with 2 touchdowns on 26 carries Monday. Logic suggests he is an old man recovering.
This makes it possible for him to be available at full health against the Bengals on Sunday. Williams will continue to replace Le’Veon Bell until he returns from suspension week 4.