Steelers Back In Pads Again At Saint Vincent

By Mike Ashcraft

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned from his scheduled day off, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were in pads for the second afternoon in a row at Saint Vincent College on Monday.

Roethlisberger appeared to be shaking the rust off a bit early in practice, as he misfired on a few passes in the wide receiver-vs.-defensive backs drill. The period once again showcased the matchup of training camp so far with wide receiver Antonio Brown going up against cornerback Artie Burns. Brown got the best of Burns twice for touchdowns.

The defensive backs have been quite physical with the wide receivers throughout camp so far, leading wide receiver Cobi Hamilton to at one point pull a yellow towel out and toss it on the field in frustration after he felt that cornerback Greg Ducre interfered with him on a pass during WRs-vs.DBs.

Speaking of the defense, they looked fast during 11-on-11 and broke through the line twice to stop rushing attempts that led to loss of yards for the offense.

Monday’s practice featured a new drill that pitted the tight ends against the linebackers in a run-game scenario.

“Guys are just working,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. “It’s a good atmosphere. It’s a competitive environment. It’s a learning-and-teaching environment. It’s been largely positive.”

Injuries Mount
Quarterback Landry Jones (abdominal strain), defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt (ankle) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (heat related illness) all exited practice on Monday, according to Tomlin.

Tight end Xavier Grimble (heat related illness) missed practice on Sunday but returned on Monday. Rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) continues to work his way back since suffering an injury last Friday. He took a part in a few drills on Monday but was not a full participant.

Rookie running back James Conner (shoulder) was being evaluated on Monday and missed practice. Cornerback Senquez Golson (soft tissue injury) was also out of action after being carted off the field on Sunday.

“No update on when they’ll return,” said Tomlin of Connor and Golson.

Bryant Close To Return?
Wide receiver Martavis Bryant was out on one of the fields at Saint Vincent catching passes on Monday but is still awaiting reinstatement from the NFL.

“None. No development,” said Tomlin when asked about Bryant’s status following practice.

Next Up
The Steelers will have the day off tomorrow before returning to the practice fields at Saint Vincent on Wednesday (Aug. 2). Practice is slated to begin at 2:55 p.m. ET. Campus opens at noon ET.

“We’re encouraging guys to do the things that allow them to remain out here and continue to work,” said Tomlin. “The off day probably comes at the appropriate time. We’ve gotten a lot out of these guys the last few days. The effort has been extraordinary, but that’s to be expected when you’re doing what we’re trying to do here, which is to develop into a world championship-caliber group.”


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