Time For Sammie Coates To Get Up And Running

While the Pittsburgh Steelers may have earlier last week finally gotten some long sought-for relief on one front regarding their wide receivers with Martavis Bryant’s return to practice, the reality is that, as of this writing, we are still waiting on one more to make his preseason debut.

That would be another third-year wide receiver, 2015 third-round draft pick Sammie Coates, who remains on the Physically Unable to Perform List after having a minor operation on his knee between OTAs and training camp. He also had groin surgery earlier in the offseason, but did not have his injured hand operated upon.

There are many questions facing him as he enters not only a critical season, but also a very crowded depth chart. Due to a variety of concurrent circumstances, Coates was afforded the opportunity a year ago to begin the regular season as a starter, and he played well all-around until he suffered a hand injury that derailed the rest of the year for him.

While he has been making notable progress on his way back to the practice field, and earlier this week reportedly said that he was shooting to potentially resume practicing as early as today, it remains to be seen whether or not that is the case, and if patterns continue as they have, we will not know if that is the case until the players actually take the field.

Should he be able to get back on the field today, however, he will have the next three days to attempt to prepare himself for the Steelers’ second preseason game, and given how much of training camp he has already missed, which has given others the opportunity to gain some attention, one would think that he will be eager to get back on the field.

Even though he was an important early contributor last season, and a still fairly recent early draft pick, his roster spot right now is far from guaranteed, because the Steelers have not stopped trying to improve the wide receiver position after they found themselves short-handed last year.

The offseason additions of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Justin Hunter were significant ones that could ultimately make him expendable unless he shows otherwise. And with the return of Bryant, he would already be struggling to find playing time.

Perhaps the recent waiving of Canaan Severin can be taken as a sign in Coates’ favor that he will be back on the practice field soon; let us hope that is the case for his sake. He showed last season that he can be an asset for the Steelers on offense, and then on special teams as well. Now he has to show that he can still be that same player.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • falconsaftey43

    I hope he can get on the field soon. Would be great if he could play in the 3 remaining pre-season games. Time is very close to running out for Ayers to make the active roster, looks like he’s heading to the practice squad.

  • treeher

    I don’t know how we compare to other teams, but it seems to me that we have had an extraordinary number of disabling injuries among our draft choices in the past few years. Many missed games: Spence, Bell, Coates, Golson, Dupree, Shazier all have lost significant time and Golson has not even got on the field. I’m sure I’ve missed some names. Where would this team be if they had not had to deal with so many injuries?

  • RickM

    Agree. He’s got to get out there and prove he can play to make the team. He also has to prove he can stay healthy.

  • falconsaftey43

    Injuries have been a problem, but I don’t think it’s been more than usual. just looking in division, I think Ravens have had it worse and Bengals pretty similar, and that’s just casual observation, not knowing every guy for them that’s gotten hurt like we do for the Steelers.

    Siragusa-out for rookie year
    Correa-injured 7 games rookie year
    Kaufusi-out rookie year
    Young-out for 2nd year
    Dixon-out for 2nd year
    Williams-missed 12 games 2nd year
    Perriman-out for rookie year

    Will Jackson-out rookie year
    Billings-out rookie year
    Ogbuehi-missed 11 games rookie year

  • Steve Johnson

    Severin Canaan wasn’t Making the team anyway, he was never a threat to Coates. The biggest threat IMO was Justin Hunter, and I think he still is. WR’s on the bubble? Demarcus Ayers, DHB, Coates, and Colbi Hamilton. And by the way, if Colbi continues to make plays throughout the preseason as he did last Friday night, I think Coates will be that 6th WR. I just don’t see them keeping more than 7. DB’s? I see them keeping 6 possibly 7.

  • Steve Johnson

    I think Jackson was injured again in OTA’s too.

    Too many injuries, I just think certain players aren’t doing enough in the offseason to prepare their bodies. Shazier? Same ole thing every year. Stretching, Running and Stretching, aRe they doing enough?

  • falconsaftey43

    I always hesitate to lay the blame on anything other than bad luck, just because I don’t know. Shazier obviously works out hard, you don’t get that ripped by laying around. But it’s possible he’s not working out in the best way to prevent these types of injuries, doesn’t make it his fault though. Generally I just chalk it up to football having a 100% injury rate.

  • LHW

    I will miss DHB. He seems to come out of nowhere every other game to catch a spectacular 30 YD pass for even more YAC. I think the lulls the opposition to sleep and then BAM!!! DHB is the ultimate sleeper. He can’t do that on too many other teams though, he will need a QB who can consistently make those throws.

  • falconsaftey43

    I think he was just saying that releasing Severin may be a sign that Coates is coming back soon (don’t need the extra WR body.) Plus one less guy to take reps in camp means more reps for everyone, including Coates.

  • Boots

    He’s going to get his chance to prove that the first five games weren’t a fluke. I think having Martavis back could really benefit him, too. If he isn’t the only one capable of taking the top off, I think you could run him on some slants, crossers and drags, easier pitch and catch type plays, and let him use his strength and RAC ability to create some headaches for the defenses.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Can you imagine, if healthy and on the field ( I say that, because this has been a problem with our talent for a couple of years now) Can you imagine lined up, AB, Martavis, Before injury Coates and have Juju, Eli and possibly Hunter also? Holy bleep. I am hoping my Steeler friends. That is a lot of talent to cover even for the experts of the slight grab without a penalty, Patriots.

  • WreckIess

    He must’ve heard you lol.

  • barry foster


  • Biggie

    Hoping these guys can get back quickly (Ayers, Coates) just for more competition. As of now Hunter and Hamilton have definitely taken advantage of their opportunities. Hunter tearing it up in camp and getting praise from Ben and Hamilton looked good in first preseason game. Brown, Bryant, JuJu are locks. Alot say Rogers is a lock, I guess he is pretty assured but not sure he is a lock. The rest however including DHB are anything but. We keep 6, a couple better be able to play some serious STs. 2 spots out of Coates, Hunter, Hamilton, DHB and Ayers. I don’t see anything but a PS spot for Tucker if that, more than likely someone like Ayers, could even bring back Severin for PS. For now I’d say it is Brown, Bryant, JuJu, Rogers, Hunter, and last spot between DHB/Hamilton with Coates, Ayers and Tucker on the outside. Plenty of time to change that, but time is running.

  • Mark

    The WR’s to make the team, AB, MB, Rogers, JuJu, Coates, and Hunter. I think DHB value as a gunner is way over valued by fans and now is the time to find a Hilton to take his place or Coates. This WR group along with Bell would be flat out impossible to stop, only thing holding them back would be Ben and/or Haley.