Numerous Veterans Miss Steelers Practice

Plus Conner speaks out about celebration questions

Josh Rowntree
September 12, 2018 - 4:40 pm
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger at practice in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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Coming off a disappointing season opening tie in Cleveland, the Steelers are now dealing with something potentially more concerning than the team’s play: injuries. 

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (right elbow), cornerback Joe Haden (hamstring), guard David DeCastro (hand) and defensive linemen Tyson Alualu (shoulder) and Cam Heyward (knee) all missed practice Wednesday. 

Roethlisberger’s elbow injury was revealed at Mike Tomlin’s Tuesday press conference, but is not reportedly serious enough to keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. 

Haden is the most likely to miss time with a minor hamstring injury. 

DeCastro is dealing with a broken hand, which took him out of the Browns game, though he did return.

“I think it’s a little bit more serious than I thought it would be,” DeCastro said. “But it’s just how your body reacts. You’ve got to be smart, trust your body and trust the doctors. It’s just day-to-day for me, so we’ll see how it goes.”

“I knew something was wrong, it was a little crunchy.”

If swelling prohibits DeCastro from having a cast made, keeping him out Sunday, guard B.J. Finney would get the start at right guard. 

“He’s been there and had a lot of experience,” DeCastro said. “That’s key. He’s been a part of games, key games and key wins. We always joke that he seems to find a way to play against Kansas City, which is funny because he’s from there.”

There was some positive news on the injury front, as tight end Vance McDonald was able to participate fully after missing the opener with a foot injury. 

Conner Clears the Air on Celebration

Pittsburgh running back James Conner made a point to set the record straight on the celebration after his first career touchdown in Cleveland Sunday. 

Conner, with linemen Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster in particular, jumped around emphatically after scoring. Earlier in the week, Pouncey and Foster were publicly critical of teammate Le’Veon Bell, so there was speculation that the celebration was directed at Bell.

“It’s my first touchdown and I walked in untouched,” Conner said. “The media took it way out of proportion, saying I was trying to throw shade or something on Le’Veon. I never understood that. They kind of just made that up.”

“I was just showing love.”

Conner added that he talked with Bell after the game ended, but would not go into the details of that discussion. 

Hear more from James Conner below.