Wednesday Practice Report
Aaron Smith did not practice for a second straight day, despite what was said by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin recently, and he isn’t expected to practice tomorrow, either.
However, Smith said he will give it a go next week to try to get ready for the Steelers opening playoff game Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Heinz Field. Tomlin told Sirius Radio Tuesday that Smith went through a full practice, but that’s not the case. He basically was an observer Tuesday and Wednesday and should hold the same role Thursday to complete the team’s bye week.
Sure, this is more than he’s done since suffering a right triceps injury Oct. 24 at Miami, but Smith has to be considered a long shot to play next week.
“It was nice,” Smith said, “just a little teaser, but….
“it was nice to be out there with the fellas, put my helmet on, running around a little bit and be active with the group. When you watch your friends and teammates out there, it’s hard because you want to feel like you’re doing your part to help them win games.”
“I think we’re right where we thought we’d be, but it’s a process. Sometimes, it’s not up to other people’s standards, but we’re right where we thought we’d be at this point. It’s just a matter of how things go and how I continue to heal up, so we’ll look at it when we get closer to see where I’m at.”
If Smith can’t play anymore this season, he won’t be devastated. But it would be difficult to stand on the sideline and watch the Steelers from there.
“It’s going to be hard if I have to stand on the sideline, but can’t play because there’s nothing like a playoff game at Heinz Field,” Smith added. “And for me to miss that type of game will be tough. It’s what we work all through the offseason for. … You want to participate, to go out there to compete.
“So, you feel out of place on the sideline. I don’t think I’m in the greatest football shape right now, but nobody would be who hasn’t played football for as long as I haven’t. But I hope to be ready to practice soon and get back to where I’ll be able to play in a game. So, we’ll see where we’re at this time next week.”
Smith didn’t think he’d need too many practices to get back in the swing of things and eventually play in a game.
“No, I don’t think it would take me long to pick things up because I’ve played in this same defense for 12 years now,” Smith said. “So, it’s almost second-nature, sometimes, for me.
“I’m in the meetings and see the film, because you have to be mentally ready before you even get physically ready. So, when the time comes, I’ll be both mentally and physically ready.”
Notes: Along with Smith, CB Bryant McFadden (abdomen), safety Troy Polamalu (lower leg), and RB Mewelde Moore (knee) did not practice Wednesday and aren’t expected to work out Thursday, either. … OT Adams, WR Hines Ward and LBs James Harrison and James Farrior sat out, but are not injured. … McFadden said he expects to practice next week and definitely ready for the game.