The Steelers protection shall be shorthanded whereas making an attempt to rebound from their Week 1 loss. Defensive deal with Cameron Heyward suffered a groin harm throughout Sunday’s sport and he’s going through a multi-week absence because of this, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
Garafolo provides that an IR stint is probably going, and that surgical procedure is an choice being thought of at this level. Gamers placed on injured reserve are required to overlook a minimum of 4 weeks, and an absence of that size would deal a significant blow to Pittsburgh’s defensive entrance.
Heyward exited the Steelers’ lopsided loss to the 49ers halfway by way of the competition and a return was rapidly dominated out. That signaled an harm of some significance could possibly be revealed not lengthy afterwards and that has now confirmed to be the case.
It will mark the primary notable missed time for the three-time All-Professional since 2016, a testomony to his sturdiness throughout a lot of his 13-year Pittsburgh tenure.
A full-time starter since his third season with the crew, Heyward has established himself as a stalwart on the Steelers’ protection. The 34-year-old has earned a Professional Bowl nod in every of the final six seasons, and he has posted double-digit sacks in three of these campaigns.
With 163 stops and 29 tackles for loss throughout the 2021 and ’22 seasons, Heyward additionally confirmed to be an integral a part of the crew’s run protection by way of the latter levels of his profession. His absence shall be acutely felt transferring ahead, as was the case final season when Watt was sidelined by a pectoral tear.
His return to the lineup helped spark a late-season playoff push for the Steelers, and Pittsburgh will hope an identical state of affairs can play out in 2023 if Heyward does find yourself lacking appreciable time.
Alongside the defensive inside, the Steelers will transfer ahead with Larry Ogunjobi — who re-signed on a three-year, $28.75M deal this offseason — as a key starter. Other than the previous Brown and Bengal, although, the crew is mostly missing in expertise up entrance.