Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

Mike Tomlin details a myriad of Steelers injuries heading into Week 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team which is licking its wounds after a thorough beatdown by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. The home opener, which resulted in a 30-7 final score, was a lop-sided as the score would indicate, but it also came with a caveat. That caveat would be the team dealing with some serious injuries heading into their Week 2 game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

Tuesday Mike Tomlin spoke to the media during his weekly press conference, and he outlined the injuries the Steelers are dealing with preparing for the Monday night contest next week.

The first, and most obvious, injury which was mentioned was Cam Heyward’s groin injury.  Not only is Heyward ruled out for this week, but Tomlin admitted that Heyward will indeed be having surgery on the injury. As for Heyward’s timeline to return, Tomlin said they are waiting for the surgery and the “complete totality” of the process to see what his return might look like.

Tomlin continued to speak about losing Heyward, and he labeled the injury as “significant”. He also added doing so is a multiple man job, and something which will force the team to change their schematics to help fill the giant void left by Heyward.

Will Heyward be placed on Injured Reserve (IR)? Tomlin didn’t say he would, but early reports are suggesting that will happen to help complete the roster and not use a roster spot on a player recovering from surgery.

There were plenty of other injuries listed, and wide receiver Diontae Johnson’s hamstring injury is one which Tomlin said he is likely unavailable this week. Tomlin did say they will wait and get a realistic look at the injury, but stated he feels good about in-house receivers to help carry the load if/when Johnson can’t play in Week 2.

There were other injuries which Tomlin said he is more optimistic about, and those would be the following players:

  • Chuks Okorafor continues to work his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and the extra day due to a Monday night game might be great for Okorafor if he is close to completing the protocol.
  • Pat Freiermuth, who is dealing with a chest injury, may be limited din the early portions of the week, but should be okay to play this week.

New injuries which were mentioned during the press conference were to offensive guard James Daniels and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi who both could be limited early in the week. While Tomlin didn’t specify the injuries, he did label them as “bumps and bruises” following the game.

If there was good news on the injury front it was how DeMarvin Leal (elbow/triceps) was left off the long list of players banged up after the loss to the 49ers. That bodes well for Leal being able to help fill the void along the defensive line without Cam Heyward.

It is worth noting the Steelers won’t have an official practice report until Wednesday, with the team playing on Monday night, so the fan base will have to wait until then to see the specific nature of some of these injuries.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Browns in week 2 on Monday Night Football.

For a complete rundown of Mike Tomlin’s time with the media, check out the Press Conference Recap podcast below:

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