The Steelers continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, with some changes on the injury front from the day before.
Receiver Deontay Johnson, who injured his shoulder in the pre-season final against the Detroit Lions, was limited for the second day in a row with a shoulder injury, as well as spasms, which were added on Thursday. Linebacker Marcus Allen, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, was restricted Wednesday but a full participant on Thursday.
Correct intervention Chukwuma Okorafor did not train due to a back problem on Thursday, while defensive intervention Cameron Heyward did not train, just a coach’s decision.
Johnson said on Wednesday he was doing “everything I could to get back into the players,” and teammate Chase Claepool said he liked what he was seeing from Johnson, but he also liked the overall depth in the center.
“Deontay looks great,” Claypool said. “I think we’re dealing with him deeply, and we’re excited to host him all week. We’re deep. Should one of us go down, we’ll be able to keep the ball rolling.”
Teammate George Pickens, the receiver, echoed sentiments about Johnson’s form on the court.
“It looked good,” Pickens said. “It always looks good. That’s probably the answer 99% of the time.”
As stated during coach Mike Tomlin’s press conference on Tuesday, linebacker Alex Highsmith is not on his injury report this week after he missed the start of the entire season with a rib injury. Highsmith said he is feeling much better and is excited for Sunday’s opening game against the Bengals.
“I was telling Coach Tomlin I was feeling great,” Highsmith said. “First two padded workouts this week, first time in a while. I feel great. I’m calling this week. I’m feeling great.”
Highsmith said that while he was out for pre-season, he took the time to work on the mental side of the game, which would benefit him greatly as well.
“I think it’s been important for me over the past month to develop my IQ for the game,” Highsmith said. “Not being able to go in there and practice, it’s (smelly). I hate not being able to participate and I hate not being able to be there. I had to listen to the doctors and do what they said.
“Now, I feel good. Legs are fresh. I’m excited to go out there and help this team win on Sunday.”
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