It’s wishful thinking, but as a fan you hope that your team is at full strength all the time. But, the reality of the NFL is that you can only hope your team can stay healthy enough to win games and survive long enough that a winning record gets your team into the playoffs. Well I say enough is enough, and I would love for the Steelers to take a step back for just a moment and check themselves out of the ward (hospital not Hines) for a while.
Numerous reports out of Steelers camp show a pretty banged up roster. Isaac Redman is scheduled to have an MRI on a pesky groin injury that’s been bugging him since the beginning of camp. In what could become an anual (but certainly not welcome) event, a Steeler running back suffered a season ending injury. John Clay, a back many of us hoped would begin to live up to his potential this season, is now out for the duration with a severe thigh injury. Last year at this time, Baron Batch swiftly exited the 2011 season by blowing out his knee. Now, he and rookie Chris Rainey are the only two healthy backs out of the group. The future of the Steelers running game may already be here front and center by Week 1.
Steeler Nation also learned on Wednesday that James Harrison had arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. ’Silverback’ has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. A bad back, a broken orbital bone, and now this left knee are being scratched off the ol’ injury bucket list. Teammates and coaches don’t expect Harrison to be out long, and hope that by performing the surgery now, he’ll still be ready to set his crosshairs on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 1. Jason Worilds is listed as week to week with a hand injury. That thins the linebacker position considerably and means that second year man, Chris Carter, will get plenty of time between now and when the final 53 are chosen.
If the Steelers can’t stay healthy in camp or for the duration of the early part of the season, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Of course, the standard is the standard, and Tomlin will expect each and every
backup starter in waiting to perform at the level of the man he is replacing. That’s wishful thinking. The reality is that we can only hope with a banged up defense and offense this early in the season the Steelers can win enough to weather the storm. I know it’s early, and there’s a strong chance that Redman, Harrison and Worilds will have enough time to heal and be ready for Week 1.
One thing to observe and note is that the Steelers aren’t the only ones who have a pile of banged up players to deal with while in camp. The new training camp rules (per new CBA) have made ‘two-a-days’ a thing of the past. The intent was to prevent players from getting burned out and/or injured while in camp. So much for that working out so far…. The Steelers’ doc office better start stocking up on Golf Digests and Men’s Health, there’s bound to be many more finding themselves in the Waiting Room as the season rolls along.