THURSDAY’S CAMP BUZZ
By Dale Grdnic
LATROBE, Pa. — The injury bug stung the Pittsburgh Steelers backfield during Thursday afternoon’s practice, as co-starting running backs Isaac Redman and Le’Veon Bell were struck in separate incidents.
Redman walked off the field on his own and appeared to be all right, which he confirmed after practice, but he was drilled by linebacker Larry Foote in the opening team drill and held out the rest of practice. Bell was down a little longer and appeared to re-injury his left knee, which was bruised last week and kept him out of the first preseason game.
“I’m good,” Redman said after practice. “It’s just a little stinger. Everything’s good. It was just a little precaution (that) they sat me out of the rest of practice. So, I’m doing good.”
There are just two more training camp practices at Saint Vincent College before the Steelers break for the second preseason game Monday at Washington. Bell will have to bounce back quickly to play in this one. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Bell re-injured his left knee, but it was not during a live team period.
“I just fell wrong,” Bell said. “I can’t really remember. … I don’t even remember, for real. I just fell wrong. It’s frustrating, a little bit, but that’s OK. I’ll get through it. I’m going to try my best to play (in the next preseason game Monday at Washington).”
Tomlin was not concerned about the injuries to his two top running backs.
“We had a few injuries,” Tomlin said after practice. “Isaac Redman sustained a stinger. Le’Veon Bell re-aggravated his knee. He will be evaluated shortly, and we will have more information regarding his status once we get that evaluation. Obviously, Isaac, after he regains strength, will be back in participation.
“All of the guys that have come back from minor bumps and bruises associated with training camp have suffered no ill effects with their return, so we’ll continue to move forward with those guys toward the opportunity to perform (in the second preseason game) Monday night.”
With Redman and Bell on the sideline, LaRod Stephens-Howling stepped in for the first-team reps at running back.
Get a Handle on It
Tomlin praised his club’s work throughout the practice session, except for several quarterback-center exchanges that went awry.
“It was a good day of work in general for us, (but) there were a few too many center-quarterback exchange (issues),” Tomlin said.
“Whether the quarterback is up under (center) or in the shotgun, that could put a stain on the practice. I think we had three of them. We’ve got to be better than that. Obviously, that’s the Steelers beating the Steelers.”
Ben Back on Track
After a rough Monday practice, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has rebounded nicely the past two days. He connected for several big gains to wideout Emmanuel Sanders, who beat first-year cornerback Ryan Steed on one 50-yard bomb. He also hit Antonio Brown on a crossing out that the wideout added about 15 yards after the catch.
Defensively, cornerback Josh Victorian continued to have a strong camp. He just missed securing two interceptions, but he finished with a handful of pass breakups in team passing drills.
The Steelers practice Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. each day at Saint Vincent College. They are the final two training camp workouts. The second preseason game is Monday night at 8 at Washington.