Updated: Oct 7
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin today during his weekly press conference said that Dionate Johnson is out of concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Eagles at Heinz Field. Tomlin also said that Derek Watt (hamstring) and Marcus Allen (foot) are working there way back to full health.
"A couple of guys are working their way back from injury. We will let their participation be our guide in terms of their availability," Tomlin said. "Derek Watt has been running some. We will see if he can do the unanticipated movement as it encompasses football play. If he can, we will let that be our guide in terms of potentially including him. Marcus Allen, same thing with his foot injury. He ran in the pool today. He’ll have an opportunity to run on land, I’m sure, in the upcoming days, and we will see where that leads up. The rest are kind of bumps and bruises associated with play. Diontae Johnson is out of the protocol. He will be a full participant not only in play but throughout the week in preparation for play. We’re excited about having him back."
Tomlin said with the unexpected bye it gave them a head start in preparation for their rescheduled game against the Titans on Oct. 25.
“We got a lot of productive work done,” Tomlin said. “We got an opportunity to file it away and use it later. Obviously, we will get an opportunity to play those guys, and then, we will see how productive the bye week was in terms of plans we were able to put in place and get ready to utilize."
Tomlin said with the week off they were able to watch what other teams were doing around the league.
"It was an opportunity for us to pause and take a global perspective on competition," Tomlin said. We were able to do that. Equally as important, we were able to get some minor bumps and bruises handled to allow those guys to catch their breath, if you will, and get focused. We came in yesterday and had a good bonus day in preparation for Philadelphia, and we look forward to continuing to."
The Steelers also had a "bonus day" on Monday to get prepared for the Eagles, which was approved by the NFL and NFLPA as under the collective bargaining agreement it is required for players to have four consecutive days off during a bye week.
"We were given special permission, and it’s not really a bonus day," Tomlin said. "We always work no Mondays coming out of byes, but very rarely do we work on Thursday. The issue for us last week was we didn’t know we had a bye until we were at work on Thursday. The PA and the League were considerate of those special circumstances and they allowed us to stick to our schedule. We did nothing special on Monday yesterday. It is just more general work for us in terms of us getting acclimated and back to work after coming off of a weekend."