Sports Magazine

Another Very Good Article Worth a Read.

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
On the Steelers: Injuries, suspensions dog Steelers again as Monday night opener looms
September 7, 2016 12:00 AM
  • Another very good article worth a read.

Another very good article worth a read.
Matt Freed/Post-Gazette
Coach Mike Tomlin said defensive end Cameron Heyward is still day to day with an ankle injury he suffered last month in an exhibition game against the New Orleans Saints.

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jack Del Rio came in for appropriate ridicule when, as coach of the fighting Jacksonville Jaguars, he placed an ax and a big log in his team’s locker room and invited his players to take a swing.
The idea behind it was the cliche that players needed to keep “chopping wood.” That looney concept turned almost deadly when Pro Bowl punter Chris Hanson picked up the ax, missed the log and whacked his right leg, something right out of an old Tom & Jerry cartoon. It took three doctors to perform the surgery to repair the gash.
Hanson missed the rest of that 2003 season but lived to punt another six years, and Del Rio today is the coach of the Oakland Raiders, whose emblem is a pirate with a patch over his right eye.
So, they survived it. The questions now beg, can the Steelers survive their own mishaps and how did they commit all this mayhem without so much as an ax in their locker room?
The Steelers remain the second favorite from the AFC (behind New England) to reach the Super Bowl. About the only things that can stop them besides the Patriots or Bengals are injuries, as they did last season. And, now, here they are, ready to open the season against the Washington Redskins Monday night and they’re taking on injuries like water on a sinking ship.
Mike Tomlin’s first news conference of the regular season was dominated by talk of his injured players. Let’s forget for a moment that they will open without All-Pro halfback Le’Veon Bell and game-changing wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who are suspended for blowing more smoke than the Steelers have about why tight end Ladarius Green will miss at least the first six weeks and likely more on the physically unable to perform list (head, ankle, both?).
And then Bud Dupree, their first-round pick last year and starting outside linebacker, went on injured reserve, knocking him out for at least the first half of the season and maybe more. Doctors will convene this week to determine if he needs surgery to his “core muscle” injury that kept him sidelined most of this summer.
“He is being evaluated here in the next couple of days in terms of what route we are going to take,’’ Tomlin said Tuesday.
Cornerback Senquez Golson, their No. 2 pick after Dupree last year, already had surgery on a LisFranc foot sprain. He remains on the 53-main roster because they hope he might heal faster than, say, Dupree, and also be available in the second half of the season.
“We’re optimistic about his ability to be available to us here at some point,’’ Tomlin said.
So, if you’re still scoring at home, that would be Green on PUP, Dupree on IR, Bell (3 games) and Bryant (2016 season) on the reserve/suspended list, and Golson somehow on the roster but unable to play for a long time.
And that is not all.
Rookie cornerback Artie Burns, their first-round draft choice, missed most of the preseason with a thigh injury, eradicating any chance that he will compete for playing time anytime soon — barring injuries, of course.
Backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski went on injured reserve, ending his season.
Cam Heyward, one of their best defensive players, has a high ankle sprain and right tackle Marcus Gilbert, one of their best offensive linemen, has a damaged left elbow. Nose tackle Javon Hargrave, set to become only the third rookie to start an opener on defense in this century, left practice Monday with a knee injury.
Tomlin listed all three as “day to day” and said he is optimistic that Gilbert and Hargrave will play.
His optimism on Gilbert comes because doctors told him “he’s good. I heard him say that he was good. So, that’s all I needed to hear.”
Tomlin said that Hargrave “sustained a minor injury.”
Back to La Mysterious Green injury. Everyone pretty much has it whittled down to a much-longer-than-expected rehab from January ankle surgery or persistent headaches, which the Steelers have never acknowledged but have been widely reported, including by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, as the cause of his sustained absence.
We asked Tomlin if Green had any setbacks along the way.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it setbacks, but he’s not ready to go.”
He next was asked if Green is dealing with any head issues.
“I think he’s been pretty clear about addressing that. I have nothing to add. His words are his words.”
Green has said it is not headaches. His agent said it is not his ankle. The Steelers and Tomlin have nothing to add.
But after publicly saying once he signed with the Steelers in March that he had no concussions in 2015 and his headaches came from sinuses, Green admitted this summer that he did have concussions last year.
And so, the mystery persists. Did he lie to them about his concussions/headaches and were they even aware of them and have them checked out? Were they overly optimistic about his recovery from ankle surgery when they signed him in March to a four-year, $20 million contract that includes a $4.75 million signing bonus? Can they get their money back?
Don’t expect answers to any of those soon.
Here is the good news for the Steelers that did not come out of Tomlin’s news conference Tuesday: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, DeAngelo Williams, David DeCastro, Stephon Tuitt, Ryan Shazier, James Harrison, Jarvis Jones, Mike Mitchell, William Gay, Lawrence Timmons? All healthy.
They will need them all against the Redskins, an improving lot that finally reached the playoffs last season as a 9-7 team and one of only two left in the NFC East with their starting quarterback intact, Kirk Cousins.
It is a good test right off the bat for the Steelers, who will have to come out swinging. Just as long as they don’t do it with an ax. They already start the season with enough wounds, self-inflicted and otherwise.
Ed Bouchette: [email protected] and Twitter @EdBouchette.
This article touches on several of the issues we have been discussing on the forum of late.
In my opinion (at this point) it is still very doable to go to and win the SB this year.
Lets look at the schedule:

  • 1 Sep 12 7:10PMEDT + AT Another very good article worth a read. Redskins GAME DAY
  • 2 Sep 18 1:00PMEDT * Another very good article worth a read. Bengals GAME DAY
  • 3 Sep 25 4:25PMEDT * AT Another very good article worth a read. Eagles
  • 4 Oct 2 8:30PMEDT ' Another very good article worth a read. Chiefs
  • 5 Oct 9 1:00PMEDT * Another very good article worth a read. Jets
  • 6 Oct 16 1:00PMEDT * AT Another very good article worth a read. Dolphins
  • 7 Oct 23 4:25PMEDT * Another very good article worth a read. Patriots
  • 8 BYE
  • 9 Nov 6 1:00PMEST * AT Another very good article worth a read. Ravens
  • 10 Nov 13 4:25PMEST ) Another very good article worth a read. Cowboys
  • 11 Nov 20 1:00PMEST * AT Another very good article worth a read. Browns
  • 12 Nov 24 8:30PMEST ' AT Another very good article worth a read. Colts
  • 13 Dec 4 4:25PMEST ) Another very good article worth a read. Giants
  • 14 Dec 11 1:00PMEST * AT Another very good article worth a read. Bills
  • 15 Dec 18 8:30PMEST ' AT Another very good article worth a read. Bengals
  • 16 Dec 25 4:30PMEST , Another very good article worth a read. Ravens
  • 17 Jan 1 1:00PMEST * Another very good article worth a read. Browns
    I don't see any games in the first seven that we can't win. Yes a few will be battles, but if we don't play down to competition and go into each games with an underdog attitude due to injuries, I think it is entirely possible to come out of the first seven with 2 or fewer losses.
    Then we have a perfectly placed bye week, which should result in some returns from injury, with a couple of weeks to prepare. By this time we should have built up our back ups via play time due to injuries.
    I think the second half of the schedule is easier and will help us get the returnees into shape for a playoff run. Then, if we are pretty good on injuries and everything chugging at full speed! Look out NFL!!
    Of course, a million things could go wrong during a season, but I think even with the injuries and suspensions, the schedule could be our biggest intangible to help us out this year.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog