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Details on Najee Harris’ injury scare at Steelers training camp

LATROBE, Pa. — Star Pittsburgh Steelers operating again Najee Harris suffered a left foot injury halfway via apply right here Monday throughout training camp. He hopped off on one foot following an 11-on-11 snap and didn’t return. And when Harris left the apply space, he limped off and not using a shoe.

Once he reached the golf cart, Harris stored his naked left foot elevated as crew staffers drove him away from the 1000’s of followers and curious members of media who turned out for apply at St. Vincent College.

“Somebody stepped on his foot,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin mentioned afterwards. “But it shouldn’t be a major deal.”

The Steelers higher hope so. Their playoff hopes in a fully loaded AFC North are fragile sufficient as it’s.

With Ben Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers’ finest (solely?) likelihood to return to the playoffs entails Najee Harris channeling Franco Harris. Harris carried the ball 307 times for a good 1,200 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2021, and in addition caught 74 balls for 467 yards and three extra scores. That was anticipated to be the ground for Harris’ manufacturing in Year 2.

The Steelers’ three-headed quarterback battle is a enjoyable training camp subplot, however based mostly on how they regarded in a power-running padded session Monday, neither Mitchell Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, nor Mason Rudolph regarded the a part of a franchise QB.

Steelers’ quarterback competitors

Trubisky — the previous Bears’ top-five choose — has taken all of Pittsburgh’s first-team snaps this training camp, and he was advantageous Monday.

He didn’t make any egregious errors, however he additionally didn’t take any actual dangers. That ought to sound acquainted to Steelers followers with Matt Canada calling performs. Only Jared Goff (6.4) had a decrease meant air-yard common than Roethlisberger (6.7) in 2021.

That was justifiable contemplating how shot Big Ben’s armed regarded late in his profession. But Trubisky, Pickett, and Rudolph are all below 30 with NFL-caliber arms. And but, the Steelers’ passing sport has up till now been a check-down fest.

Of course, there are explanations for this that go merely past organizational religion of their quarterbacks.

Wide receivers Chase Claypool (shoulder) and Diontae Johnson (hold-in over contract dispute) and tight finish Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) all missed crew drills Monday. But it’s not just like the Steelers had no weapons. Rookie George Pickens has been the toast of training camp, and if he can take a maturity leap, must be one of the vital impactful gamers of his draft class.

“Just showing like all the coaches [that] I’m really a nice route runner,” mentioned Pickens, the Georgia large receiver chosen 52nd general again in April. “Cause everybody knows [me as] big, fast. That was my, you know, just deep [route] type of guy. That’s what you, that’s what Randy Moss was. And that’s kind of what I wanted to display.”

If the season started in the present day, Pickens would have Trubisky throwing to him in video games. The QB competitors isn’t notably shut. In reality, the larger query at this level appears to be whether or not Rudolph even makes the crew.

The Steelers presumably would like not carrying two veteran quarterbacks on the roster, and Pickett is in fact assured a spot as a first-round choose. But he’s been fairly unimpressive via 4 days (though Monday was higher than the primary three). He has to enhance sufficient in the course of the preseason that the Steelers could be comfy with him enjoying ought to one thing occur to Trubisky.

Brian Flores thriving in Western Pa.

Prior to apply, PFN acquired an opportunity to say hey to former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who’s now the Steelers’ linebackers coach after a fairly tumultuous offseason. Flores was fired by Miami regardless of going 10-6 in 2020 and 9-8 in 2021 — a call that set in movement one of many greatest NFL scandals of the 12 months.

Weeks after his termination, Flores filed a federal racial discrimination lawsuit in opposition to the Dolphins, the league, and several other different NFL groups. In the criticism, he accused Dolphins proprietor Stephen Ross of providing him $100,000 per loss in the course of the crew’s 2019 tanking season. The allegation triggered an NFL investigation that continues to be lively.

Flores has landed on his ft with Mike Tomlin because the Steelers’ linebackers coach — and on Monday appeared downright completely satisfied in his new function.

“He’s been great so far, just being able to learn from him,” mentioned Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith. “He’s got so much knowledge about the game of football. You can see why he was a head coach in the league. He knows so much, he’s so knowledgeable. Being able to learn more about coverage from him has been really great. It’s been a great addition to us and I’m excited to work with him this year.”

More Steelers apply observations

  • Beyond Harris, Claypool, Johnson, and Freiermuth, the Steelers on Monday had been with out security Minkah Fitzpatrick, who’s on the NFI. Backup operating again Jeremy McNichols additionally didn’t apply and is getting his injured shoulder evaluated. The solely good injury information for the Steelers? Week 1 remains to be almost six weeks off.
  • Linebacker Myles Jack had a wonderful apply Monday, each in “backs on backers” blocking and 11-on-11 drills. An lively, efficient Jack could be an enormous elevate for a Steelers protection led by superstars T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward.
  • Beyond quarterback, the one important place battle at this stage in camp is the left guard job. Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson rotated with the primary crew Monday.

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