By Christina Rivers
The Pittsburgh Steelers look to be relatively healthy heading into their road game on Saturday against the Carolina Panthers. News that wide receivers Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant were full participants in practice this week is a hopeful sign for the offense. While receiver/running back Dri Archer was limited in practice, he will most likely join offensive guard Ramon Roster as an inactive member for the game. Other players who were on the injury report missed practice on Wednesday mainly for non-injury related reasons.READ MORE: Sheetz Raises Hourly Wages By $2 For All Employees Permanently, Introduces Summer Stimulus Program
The Steelers had a few bumps and bruises after their Week 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens, but the extra time to prepare for the Carolina Panthers game seems to have given time to Lance Moore the time for a groin injury to heal. The Steelers were put into a unique situation in Baltimore after Antonio Brown left the game in Week 2, having more defensive backs activated that traditional targets for Ben Roethlisberger to throw to. Moore joined the Steelers during the offseason as a free agent from the New Orleans Saints to replace Jerricho Cotchery.
“With a guy who has missed some time with a soft tissue injury like (Lance)…we’ll watch him, and watch his response to (practice) and formulate a plan appropriately. Lance is a guy who’s capable of helping us,” said head coach Mike Tomlin earlier this week. “He knows how to play football. He knows how to play the position.” When Moore has been healthy, he has been able to catch an average of 59 passes (per season).
With Moore out of the lineup, the Steelers relied on first-year pro Justin Brown who has caught four passes for 44 yards, but lost a fumble during the Ravens game. Tomlin issued a statement that he expects his players to maintain possession of the football as a main responsibility.
Archer has been hampered by a foot/ankle injury while defensive tackle Steve McLendon suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder. While Archer was a partial participants in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, McLendon was able to get back into full gear both days. Both will be evaluated before the end of the week to determine whether they are ready to be placed in the game in Charlotte, but Archer may have at least one more week before he is 100 percent.
Foster suffered an ankle injury that limited his practice on Wednesday and Friday will a non-participation day on Thursday. This leaves offensive line coach Mike Munchak with the decision on whether or not to put Chris Hubbard or Wesley Johnson into the lineup to strengthen the pass and run protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.READ MORE: Stacy Smith To Retire From KDKA-TV On May 30
Carolina is dealing with a rash of players that may not be full participants in Sunday night’s game. Wide receivers Jason Avant (thigh) and Jerricho Cotchery (thigh) are listed as questionable, as is running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh). Fellow running back Fozzy Whittaker is doubtful to play and saw no practice time this week. Probable players include: Byron Bell (T, toe), Kelvin Benjamin (WR, knee), Philly Brown (WR, ankle), Colin Cole (DT, NIR), Thomas Davis (LB, hip), Dwan Edwards (DT, back), Greg Olsen (TE, calf), Mike Tolbert (FB, chest) and Garry Williams (T, hip).
Steelers Injury Recap
Doutbful: Archer, Dri (WR/RB, Ankle)
Questionable: Foster, Ramon (OG, Ankle)
Probable: Bryant, Martavis (WR, Shoulder) Keisel, Brett (DE, NIR) Miller, Heath (TE, NIR) Moore, Lance (WR, Groin) Polamalu, Troy (S, NIR)
(* NIR – Non-injury related)
For more Steelers news and updates, visit Steelers Central.MORE NEWS: Reta Mays, Nursing Assistant Who Admitted To Killing 7 Patients At West Virginia VA Hospital To Be Sentenced
Christina Rivers has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers and National Football League professionally as a reporter and photographer for over a decade. Rivers studied exercise physiology and sports psychology at Brigham Young University as a student-athlete. Christina is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. Her work can be found on