“Well that didn’t last long,” would be a good statement to describe the foot injury dealt to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders that kept him out of the second half against the Lions this past Sunday. Scott Brown of ESPN.com reports that Sanders returned to practice on Wednesday and is feeling good about the foot.
I don’t have any soreness, I don’t have any pain. I am good. I just got [my foot] stepped on.
I wouldn’t say Sanders’ return is a good thing, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing either. It’s just something that is happening in the ever adjusting roster slots for the Steelers offense. Sanders has had his struggles throughout the season – difficulty getting separation from defenders, communication problems with Ben Roethlisberger, and dropped passes. Sanders’ replacement, Markus Wheaton, was not much of an upgrade during the second half against the Lions. Several times he found himself in the wrong spot of a route as a pass would come sailing in. He did catch 3 of the 4 passes that were near him for a total of 38 yards. His longest was for 21 yards.
Wheaton is a touch slower than Sanders, so the same problems persist with not having a receiver that can get separation from defenders down the field. Despite Sanders feeling better about his foot, any kind of soreness is bound to hinder the four year man out of Southern Methodist. Everyone feels there is an uptick to Wheaton, but I’m still waiting to see what that is. I hope to see it soon, as I’m sure most of Steeler Nation and the Steelers themselves would love to as well.
Expect to see some split time between Sanders and Wheaton on Sunday against the Browns. Let’s just hope that Wheaton has ironed out some of his route running and timing with Big Ben before we see a pass go sailing into the secondary and picked off by an awaiting safety.