The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin the first phase of their offseason program this week and with that process getting underway, it’s time to have a look at the four injured players who are currently under contract for the 2014 season that are coming off of injuries.
Maurkice Pouncey – It’s been roughly seven and a half months since Pouncey suffered his knee injury in the 2013 season opener against the Tennessee Titans and a recent report by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicated that his rehab is going just fine. Pouncey should be good to go by the start of the 2014 season and one would think he shouldn’t be limited during the first phase of the offseason conditioning program. The Steelers, however, will more than likely limit Pouncey during the OTA practice sessions and I would think there’s a good chance he starts training camp off of the Active PUP list just as a precaution.
Sean Spence – The only thing we really know about Spence is that he has been working out in Miami during the offseason with a few draft hopefuls. Spence shouldn’t be limited during the conditioning phase of the offseason program that starts this week, but the true test will come when the OTA practices finally get underway in a little more than a month from now. It’s been nearly 20 full months since Spence suffered his knee injury that caused damage to his peroneal nerve. Hopefully the media will be able to get a few words with him this week and get him to update his outlook.
Nick Williams – Thanks to a recent update on steelers.com, we now know that Williams did not have surgery on the sublexed knee cap injury that he suffered late in training camp last year until the end of October. That has been nearly six full months ago, so the young defensive end might not be ready to fully participate in the upcoming OTA practices. By the time training camp rolls around, Williams will be nine months removed from surgery, so hopefully he will be ready to practice fully by then.
Nik Embernate – Embernate tore his knee up in early August at the beginning of training camp, so he is nearly nine full months removed from the original injury. He should be roughly a full month ahead of where Pouncey currently is in his rehab, so we will watch closely to see if he is allowed to practice fully during the OTA sessions. Baring any kind of a setback, there is no reason to think he won’t be ready for the start of training camp.