Steelers notebook: Knee injury to CB Gilbert delivers another blow to 'D'
Just when it looked like the Steelers were getting some clarity with their injury situation, another blow was struck to their defensive depth Wednesday.
Cornerback Justin Gilbert, fresh off his first appearance on defense Sunday, left practice early with an apparent knee injury.
“It's always difficult seeing one of your teammates go down,” safety Robert Golden said, “but at the end of the day, we're gonna fight through adversity. I feel like he is going to be able to bounce back, and even if not, I feel like we have other guys capable of doing the job.”
Acquired from the Cleveland Browns before the start of the season, Gilbert played eight snaps in subpackages against the Kansas City Chiefs. He had been limited to special teams play the first three weeks as he studied the Steelers defense.
Gilbert was unavailable to the media after practice, but coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday the former first-round draft pick was “writing the script” in terms of playing time.
Gilbert's role against the Chiefs also expanded because of injuries to Golden (hamstring) and safety Sean Davis (back). Davis was a full practice participant, and Golden was limited.
“I went out there, did what I had to do and shut it down,” Golden said. “I'm getting better. Each and every day, I'm getting better.”
Davis dressed against the Chiefs and said he could have played defense if needed. He played one late snap on special teams, “just to say I played,” he said.
“If anything would have happened in the secondary, I was the reserve guy,” Davis said.
Linebacker Jarvis Jones also sat out practice with a knee injury sustained against the Chiefs. His injury leaves Arthur Moats and 38-year-old James Harrison as the lone healthy outside linebackers. Backup Anthony Chickillo practiced fully after injuring his knee against the Chiefs.
Three other injured players were full practice participants, most notably guard Ramon Foster (chest). Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) and fullback Roosevelt Nix (back) were the others.
Sitting out practice were tackles Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and Ryan Harris (hematoma on shin), linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee), cornerback Senquez Golson (foot), wide receiver Eli Rogers (turf toe) and center Cody Wallace (knee).
Running back DeAngelo Williams was given the day off.
Foster supports revisions
In a change that could impact Harrison more than any other Steeler, NFL players no longer will be permitted to record their drug tests, the players' association announced Wednesday.
Harrison previously recorded some of his drug tests and posted them to his Instagram account.
“Videotaping can compromise certain situations, but sometimes guys just want to make sure the process is fair,” said Foster, the Steelers' union representative.
Players also will be tested for synthetic marijuana under the revisions.
“I don't know much about (synthetic marijuana), but if they feel like it will harm guys, then I'm all for it,” Foster said. “You don't want something that's man-made going into your body.”
Keep it simple
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger enjoyed watching running back Le'Veon Bell spread across the field, lining up in the slot, going in motion and even running deep pass routes. But he cautioned about the Steelers offense getting too tricky.
“We just have to be careful not to get so out of the box, out of this world, that we can get so confusing to ourselves,” he said. “You want to confuse the defense, but you also want to play fast. Sometimes, just being black or white is better than being gray.”
Roethlisberger completed 22 of 27 passes for 300 yards and five touchdowns and was named AFC offensive player of the week. It is the 14th time Roethlisberger won the award, including two times last season.