By Dale Grdnic
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers expect a full recovery regarding the stabbing of second-year offensive tackle Mike Adams early Saturday morning, head coach Mike Tomlin said Monday afternoon.
“Obviously, it’s an unfortunate situation, but he’s very blessed to be in the position that he’s in, in terms of we expect a full recovery from him,” Tomlin said. “I visited with him for a couple days this weekend, and he has great team support, family support. We expect a full recovery. He realizes, of course, how fortunate that he is. We’re just glad that he’s going to be OK, and we’re just taking it day by day.
“Obviously, they expect a full recovery. Some of the timelines reported are accurate, I guess, as they expect six weeks or so. He’s going to go through a couple weeks of inactivity until he can proceed with the next step. The next step for him, obviously, is getting out of (Mercy Hospital). We expect that to come within the next 24 hours, and then he’ll proceed from there.”
Tomlin wouldn’t discuss the legal aspect of the situation, noting that “the officers obviously have got some work to do in that regard, and I’ll let them do it. But, obviously, he was a victim of an unfortunate circumstance.”
Tomlin also responded to several clarifying questions.
“We recognize the world that we live in, and things like this are capable of happening,” Tomlin said. “Not that we accept it, but we understand that it’s capable of happening. But more than anything, I think it’s shown us an opportunity for the team to be supportive of him, and they’ve done so. It goes beyond the team.
“I just think, as members of this community, we need to recognize that some things are going on that are on the South Side that make it a dangerous place, particularly after hours, and we all need to take proper precautions. And, hopefully, as a community, we’ll take the steps necessary to assure that this doesn’t to anyone, whether it’s a Pittsburgh Steeler or not.”
The Steelers originally had an OTA practice scheduled for Monday, but Tomlin canceled in favor of a “team-building situation,” and took the team during the morning to Dave and Buster’s at the Waterfront in Homestead, Pa. He also answered several football-oriented questions Monday. The first one concerned nose tackle Steve McLendon, slated to start this season after backing up Casey Hampton, who was not re-signed.
“I don’t have Steve or anyone in a box,” Tomlin said. “If he shows that he’s capable of helping us through three downs, I’ll utilize him. So, tell him I said that.”
One position that won’t shake out in the next few weeks is at running back, as Tomlin said any decisions on playing time won’t happen until “we put clothes on.” Rookie Le’Veon Bell is battling veterans Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Baron Batch for playing time.
“Right now, it’s just an opportunity to teach and to help guys to grow and develop and put them in position to compete at training camp-like setting,” Tomlin said. “(And) I think that’s appropriate. I think decisions that are made at this time of year are usually wrong ones, because this game is one that is played in pads.”
Tomlin also discussed rookie wideout Markus Wheaton’s situation. Wheaton, the club’s third-round draft pick this year, will miss the entire spring practice schedule due to an NCAA rule that prohibits players from reporting until their class graduates from college. Wheaton’s Oregon State group has another week, so he won’t report until June 14. Mini-camp June 11-13 ends spring practice.
“He’s going to miss an opportunity to do a majority of things,” Tomlin said. “I’m going to touch base with him during the latter part of this week and make plans. … As we get closer to next week, we’ll get a hard sense of where he is and make the necessary arrangements. (But) in the big scheme of things, it’s going to be minimal.
“He’ll get plenty of opportunities to show what he’s capable of doing and prepare himself to be a part of our outfit and help us. We’ve dealt with this is the past, and in the big scheme of things it’s been a non-issue. It creates some short-term discomfort, but these guys are professionals and capable of dealing with it.”
Notes: The Steelers today signed first round pick Jarvis Jones, second round pick Le’Veon Bell and seventh round pick Nick Williams. Top picks Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell each signed four year deals. QB Landry Jones is the Steelers only unsigned draft pick. Jones was picked in the fourth round…. The Steelers are scheduled to practice at Heinz Field Thursday. … The rookie luncheon is set for this week as well.
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