Steelers notebook: Marcus Gilbert, Stephon Tuitt practicing, targeting returns for Sunday
Marcus Gilbert said he learned a lesson about not rushing back from an injury. Stephon Tuitt made sure he didn't make the same mistake.
Each is confident he will return to game action Sunday.
Offensive tackle Gilbert and defensive end Tuitt said they practiced for the Steelers on Monday, and each predicted he would play this weekend at Indianapolis.
“Back to practicing fully,” said Tuitt, who missed the past two games because of a back injury suffered while working out at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “Felt great to be back out there with my teammates.”
Gilbert (hamstring) has played less than a half of football since Week 2. He missed three weeks, then returned for the Kansas City game but admitted Monday that was ill-advised.
“I never had a hamstring injury before. I kind of tried to rush myself back because I felt so good,” Gilbert said. “And I realize now that I wasn't good. ... I tweaked it again, and I tried to come back and I didn't handle it the right way.”
On Monday, Gilbert said he took “a little bit more than 50 percent” of the practice reps. The plan is to build up gradually throughout the long week and then start Sunday.
“I felt great (Monday), really good,” Gilbert said. “Very confident this time.”
Tuitt's hamstring injury was the second ailment that caused him to miss multiple games over the first half of the season (a biceps injury kept him out of two-plus games earlier). Tuitt implied if the situation was different, he could have and would have played in the Steelers' prior game, Oct. 29 at Detroit.
“I had a series of things that happen to me in the first eight games, and I didn't want to rush back and cause any more damage,” Tuitt said. “At the end of the day, I was healing really well, and it's just that we've got a long season and the second half of the season is when you're needed the most. So it was just that (last week) was an NFC game, and at the end of the day, we have AFC games that really matter right now.”
Sutton feeling ‘good'
Designated to practice off the injured reserve list last week, Cameron Sutton said he hasn't suffered any setbacks and his hamstring feels “good.”
The rookie cornerback is six days into a 21-day window in which he must be added to the active roster or spend the remainder of the season on IR.
“Yeah, everything's good,” Sutton said.
The third-round pick added he has not been given any indication when he will be activated. The Steelers have six cornerbacks on their 53-man roster.
With Gilbert's impending return, the Steelers cut tackle Jake Rodgers from the practice squad. Receiver Justin Thomas was added to the practice squad to take his place.
The two were swapped for each other three weeks prior. Thomas, a former quarterback at Georgia Tech, has been signed and released three times over the past nine weeks. So has Rodgers.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.