Steelers notebook: WR Coates still dealing with effects of broken finger
Two weeks after having the best game of his brief NFL career, Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates continues to deal with a broken finger that limited his playing time last Sunday.
Coates had no catches on four targets in the Steelers' 30-15 loss and was limited to 17 snaps out of a possible 55.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Thursday that Coates has taken many snaps on the scout team, "but that's no different than last week" when Coates didn't practice until Friday, and only then in a limited capacity.
"He's making progress every day," Haley said. "Any time a receiver has a hand injury, it's him mentally getting over the hump."
Coates has been a full participant in both practices this week. And although he was dribbling and shooting a basketball in the locker room after practice, Coates said the finger remains an issue.
"I have a broken finger. It's going to take 4-5 weeks to heal," Coates said. "It's always going to be a problem."
Haley said Coates will help determine his own availability Sunday against the New England Patriots.
"It's about him being comfortable enough," Haley said. "If he says he's OK, and we watch him and he catches the ball, we have to trust that he's good to go."
On the sidelines
Ladarius Green thought he would be practicing this week, but through two days of workouts, the veteran tight end said he has been limited to running routes and catching passes on a side field.
Green, who is on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason ankle surgery, was eligible to start practicing Wednesday.
On Monday, Green said he expected to be on the field this week. Once he starts practicing, the Steelers have 21 days to add him to the 53-man roster.
"I felt good, but it's not about me, it's about the whole team and the big picture," Green said. "If Coach doesn't feel I'm ready to go, I'm not going to argue with him."
Asked whether he has anything left to prove physically, Green said, "I don't think I'm going to be ready to go out there until I just get out there and jump into it."
Inside linebacker Ryan Shazier went through a full practice for the first time since injuring his knee in Week 3 against Philadelphia. Shazier said he expects to play against the Patriots.
"I feel good enough, but at the end of the day, the coach still gives the yes or no," Shazier said. "I feel great, so we're going to have to see what he says."
Shazier wore a knee brace during practice, and he said he also wore it against the Eagles.
Running back DeAngelo Williams didn't practice for a second day in a row with a knee injury. Williams typically doesn't practice Wednesdays, but his absence Thursday could signify more playing time for Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), safety Shamarko Thomas (groin) and wide receiver Markus Wheaton (shoulder) also did not practice for the second day in a row.
Safety Mike Mitchell (knee) and safety Robert Golden (foot) were full participants after being limited Wednesday.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.