After a spirited first day in pads, the Pittsburgh Steelers took to the field for another practice on Heinz Field.While it is certain that veterans such as Cameron Heyward and Joe Haden are locks to make this year's roster, today's emphasis was on both rookies and reserve players getting their opportunity to shine.
Today's storyline include; a potentially serious injury to a highly-coveted rookie, the return of a veteran, and a second-year player making plays.
So Steelers fans, let's go!
While veterans such as Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro and Eric Ebron were given the day off to allow younger players the benefit of more repetitions, rookie offensive lineman Kevin Dotson was not so lucky in this afternoon's session. As reported by TribLIVE reporter Joe Rutter, Dotson suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury. Further detailed by NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was seen kneeling beside him, then proceeded in helping him off the field. At this point, there have been no updates on the severity of his knee injury.
To add to this list is second-year tight end Dax Raymond, who suffered an ankle injury during this afternoon's practice. Last season with the Chicago Bears, Raymond sustained a concussion during their preseason finale, which relegated him to the practice squad after being waived. At this juncture, any setbacks could affect his roster status.
For the second straight day, receiver James Washington was unable to participate in today's practice with an undisclosed injury. The good news was the return of veteran center Maurkice Pouncey, who was excused from yesterday's session for personal reasons.
Training Camp Notes
After a challenging first day, rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith had a better showing in today's session, according to Kinkhabwala report.
Second-year receiver Diontae Johnson had a small injury scare which resulted in getting his left elbow checked, as noted by Kinhabwala.
One of the reasons why second-year linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III was drafted last year, was because of his ability to make plays. Detailed by longtime Pittsburgh Steelers reporter and writer Bob Labriola in his training camp report, Gilbert made an impressive play on running back Kerrith Whyte Jr., taking the ball out of his hands.
Tight end Eric Ebron has already made a fan in fellow teammate Vance McDonald. When asked about Ebron, McDonald raved about the impression he has made on him and the rest of the team.
A sure way of winning a roster spot is through special teams play. As detailed in Labriola's Camp Report, free agent receiver Saeed Blacknall made impressive special teams tackle that "excited" head coach Mike Tomlin.
For rookie receiver Chase Claypool, it was another impressive outing. According to Labriola's report, Claypool couldn't stop making high-degree-of-difficulty catches during team drills. The chemistry he is building with Ben Roethlisberger during camp bodes well for the offense going forward.