Steelers DL Cameron Heyward (groin), three others miss practice

League: NFL

Posted on: 09 Nov, 2023 at 10:41 PM

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, whose groin injury caused him to miss six games, joined three other Steelers in sitting out practice Thursday.

Heyward and linebacker Elandon Roberts (knee), who were limited participants at practice Wednesday, missed Thursday's session along with safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) and defensive tackle Montravius Adams (ankle).

Heyward, 34, sustained the groin injury in the first half of the season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers and was placed on IR on Sept. 14. He returned Nov. 2 in Pittsburgh's 20-16 home victory over the Tennessee Titans, making six tackles, including one tackle for loss.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection was voted first-team All-Pro in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Fitzpatrick and Adams also missed practice Wednesday, with Fitzpatrick sidelined for the game against the Titans and Adams injured in that contest.

"Coach (Mike Tomlin) always says it's a next-up mentality," cornerback Joey Porter Jr. said of Fitzpatrick being injured. "I feel like we have the pieces to do that. I feel like we've got the guys who can do it. We have to communicate at a high level."

The Steelers (5-3) play host to the Green Bay Packers (3-5) on Sunday, and the Pittsburgh linebacker group already is without starter Cole Holcomb due to a season-ending knee injury against Tennessee.

Roberts, 29, said he and Kwon Alexander, who were in a three-man rotation with Holcomb, will have to step up. Second-year linebacker Mark Robinson also could get more playing time.

"Like Coach Mike T said, we had the luxury of being able to all get in there, play together, stay fresh, and stuff like that," Roberts said. "Like Mike T told you guys, we had the opportunity. There was three of us. We have a lot of versatility with certain situations. Now like he said, we are going to get more to the traditional."

--Field Level Media