By Daniel Benjamin
In terms of getting healthy, it appears that the bye week was very beneficial for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh, coming off its Week 9 bye, will have all 22 of its prospective starters available for the Week 10 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Field on Nov. 12. It will mark the first time all year that the Steelers expect to have all their starters on both of their offensive and defensive units. At least one starter has missed every game this season, and the Steelers have been without multiple starters on several occasions. Three players missed the Steelers’ Week 8 contest against Detroit.
The Steelers do have one player listed on their final Week 10 injury report, and that is veteran reserve linebacker James Harrison, who is out with a back injury. The 39-year-old outside linebacker did not practice at all this week. Harrison has played sparingly this year. He has only been on 29 defensive snaps, recording three tackles and one sack.
Free Safety Mike Mitchell (Achilles) appears to be good to go against the Colts. Mitchell was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant on Friday. He suffered the injury late in the game against Detroit.
Mitchell has started seven of the Steelers’ first eight games. He missed the game against Baltimore in which J.J. Wilcox filled in admirably. Wilcox recorded three of his 12 tackles on the season against the Ravens.
Marcus Gilbert, Vance McDonald, Stephon Tuitt set to return
News concerning the offensive and defensive lines is even better, as those units are whole for the first time in awhile. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert is healthy for the first time since Week 2. Gilbert missed three straight games before coming back to make the start against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, but left during the second quarter after re-aggravating the injury.
“The hamstring feels good,” said Gilbert. “It came at the right time. Unfortunately I had a setback, and the bye week was much needed. I took advantage of it. I went back home, got some treatment, saw my trainer, and I am feeling more confident.”
With Gilbert returning, the Steelers will now have their original offensive line unit together for the first time since Week 2, as left guard Ramon Foster missed the game against the Chiefs with injury.
Defensive end Stephon Tuiit (back) missed the last two games and four of the last seven overall. With Tuitt out, Tyson Alualu stepped up his production. Aluala recorded 13 of his 23 tackles and both of his two sacks in four starts in place of Tuitt.
Second-string tight end Vance McDonald (knee) was also inactive against the Lions. McDonald has three receptions for 63 yards in six games, four of which were starts.
Only starting left outside linebacker John Simons (neck) has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest for the Colts. That is good news as the Colts listed three players on their injury report, including No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton (groin). If Hilton, who is officially listed as questionable, is unable to go, that would severely decimate a very limited receiving corp. Hilton has 36 receptions, which is only behind tight end Jack Doyle, who has a team-high 50 catches. He was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday.
Simon has not practiced or played since suffering a stinger against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7. Rookie cornerback Quincy Wilson is the only other player on the Colts’ injury report with a knee injury. Wilson has not played since Week 2.
Steelers Full Injury Report
- LB James Harrison (Back), Out