At the beginning of June, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost star defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt to retirement. The retirement came off the heels of Tuitt sitting out for the entire 2021 season after his brother was fatally struck and killed last spring. Missing Tuitt in 2021 caused the Steelers to become the worst team in the NFL against the run. Insert Larry Ogunjobi.
Chris Wormely played adequately but his short comings against the run were magnified. Especially without Tyson Alualu in the middle to help. While Alualu will be back in 2022 the Steelers still needed to do something. So, they went out and signed Ogunjobi who at one point was considered one of the top free agents available. He of course failed a physical with the Chicago Bears after reportedly agreeing to a 3-year deal north of 40 million. The Steelers get him on a 1-year contract that could be worth up to 8 million.
News out of Pittsburgh last week after the signing was that it was believed that Ogunjobi was going to be ready for training camp which begins in less than a month. But on Wednesday Ogunjobi joined the Movin’ The Chain’s show on XM Radio with hosts Pat Kirwan, and Jim Miller. During the show Ogunjobi was asked about his health and if he’d be ready.
“I’m feeling good. You know my motto… God doesn’t seem to make mistakes you know? He doesn’t make mistakes. I’m blessed. I’m grateful for another opportunity to play the game I love. I’m excited. It’s actually kinda funny, I was a Steelers fan growing up so, kinda ironic that I’ve played on all other teams before I got here. So, you know God doesn’t make mistakes. So, I’m excited, my family is happy, I’m happy. I’m just ready to get back to doing what I love.”
“Injuries suck for every athlete. So, no one ever wants to get injured and how this happened kinda sucked too. You know you gotta take em in stride, my motto in life is outlook determines outcome so for me the biggest thing with me was taking the cards I was dealt and find the way to make the most of em. You know that was train and sticking to my regime. You know attacking rehab, focus, you know?
Alright, but will you be ready for week 1? Miller than posed this question to Ogunjobi:
Do you hope to be healthy by week 1?
“Thats the goal,” Ogunjobi continued. “You know we’re just going to take it week by week. Rehab is going really well. I’m getting better each and every week. We have a plan in place to you know have me ready when you know live bullets are flying. You know again excited. Just trying to get healthy and 100% and all of that good stuff.
He didn’t come out and say he wouldn’t be ready for training camp because he wasn’t asked about that specifically. But it sounds like his plan is to be back and ready for week 1 but there is still a lot of uncertainty. Does that mean he’s going to have to sit out of most of training camp while he’s still doing his rehab or is he going to be able to get on the field with his new teammates? If he can’t get on the field during training camp is he going to be in game shape come week 1? So many questions.
After the report last week by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
Steelers expecting DT Larry Ogunjobi to be ready for training camp after having Lisfranc surgery. Hey, they wouldn't have signed him if he couldn't pass their physical.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) June 23, 2022
Hoping to be ready to go by week 1 is a lot different than actually being ready to go by week one. So, lets everyone in SteelerNation keep their fingers crossed that he’s able to return sooner rather than later.
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