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Secondary Injuries Could Become a Concern

The Steelers will travel to New Jersey on Thursday to prepare to play their first preseason game against the Giants on Friday night. Hopefully they are taking plenty of trainers tape and Band-Aids because they are banged and battered all over the field.

The starting secondary is particularly banged up with Artie Burns, and Mike Mitchell out. Mitchell was hurt on the first day of camp and hasn’t practiced since then. Burns had deemed himself close to returning but still hasn’t practiced with the team as of Wednesday. Burns has at least been jogging and working out on his own so it doesn’t appear his injury is too serious.

The injuries didn’t stop at the top for the secondary as Senquez Golson and rookie Cam Sutton have also missed most of training camp. Golson is now in his third season with the Steelers and has only completed seven total practices due to injury.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tweeted out on Wednesday that Golson tore his hamstring, but their hasn’t been any official word. If he can’t participate within the next couple weeks the Steelers may have no choice but to move on from their 2015 second round pick.

With all the injuries to cornerbacks it has opened the door for veteran Coty Sensbaugh who signed with the Steelers in the offseason.

It’s unfortunate we’ve had so many guys, especially defensive backs, get hurt,” Sensabaugh said. “That’s just part of the game. You just have to continue competing and continue playing.”

Sensabaugh brings versatility as he can play inside or outside depending on what the defense needs. Along with Sensabaugh, undrafted free agent Mike Hilton has become a camp phenom. Hilton has been playing the back up slot corner position and has drawn rave reviews from teammates and coaches.

“Mike’s been doing a really good job,” Ryan Shazier said. “He’s really grasping the concept of what we’re trying to do, and when we put him in he really does a great job of it. He shows that he can make plays. He has good footwork. He was with us last year for a little while so he understands what we’re trying to do. I think he’s ready to go.”

Hilton joined the Steelers practice squad late last season after being released from the Patriots practice squad. He signed a reserves/futures contract after the season concluded.

While all of the Steelers injuries seem to be minor at this point, if they don’t start healing soon they could become nagging injuries that derail their season.

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