Scott Brown of ESPN.com and Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest shared some updated injury news earlier this afternoon via Twitter:
Status report for @Steelers vs Browns: LB Garvin is out; WR Sanders, OLB Worilds questionable. Everyone else is probable.
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) December 27, 2013
WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee) on his status: “Right now I’m 50-50. We’re going to call it a game-time decision.”
— Scott Brown (@ScottBrown_ESPN) December 27, 2013
The loss of Terence Garvin will definitely hurt the Steelers on their special teams coverage units. Moreover, his presence in sub-packages on the defensive side of the ball will be missed as well.
As far as Emmanuel Sanders and Jason Worilds are concerned, I am interested to see whether or not the impending unrestricted free agents err on the side of caution this weekend with their respective injuries. Caution aside, the Steelers could still stand to use their best pass-rusher and starting wide receiver on the field against the Cleveland Browns.
On a positive note, Jarvis Jones (illness), Brett Keisel (foot), Markus Wheaton (finger) and David DeCastro (back) are all listed as ‘probable’ for Pittsburgh’s last game of the 2013 campaign at Heinz Field.
Wheaton could be a big factor against the Browns, especially if Sanders is unable to suit up for the regular season finale. Even though he has another broken finger, I am intrigued to see how many looks Wheaton receives in the passing game in the event Sanders is sidelined.
Keep an eye on Antonio Brown if Sanders does not play, Steeler Nation. Brown (101 catches) should receive even more targets with Sanders out of the lineup, and the team’s 2013 MVP might come dangerously close to the franchise’s single-season mark for receptions which was set by Hines Ward back in 2002 (112).
Here is the team’s official injury report:
LB Terence Garvin (knee)
OLB Jason Worilds (abdomen)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee)
DE Brett Keisel (foot)
OLB Jarvis Jones (illness)
SS Troy Polamalu (not-injury related)
TE Heath Miller (not-injury related)
WR Markus Wheaton (finger)
OG David DeCastro (back)
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