Before you decide to take a leap into the Ohio River, it sounds like both Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell will be OK. The Pittsburgh Steelers top two draft choices both missed practice today in Latrobe. Bell had ice on his knee while Jones’ injury was not immediately known.
Also missing practice were Brett Keisel, who accroding to Jim Wexell, was on a ‘veteran vacation’ and Jason Worilds who is still dealing with a toe injury. Toss in Lawrence Timmons as well who was dealing with a death in the family according to Bob Labriola.
Rookie free agent guard Nik Embernate was placed on the ‘injured/waived list’ following his serious knee injury earlier this week and that spot was filled by free agent tackle D’Anthony Batiste who most recently was with Arizona. Batiste is in his sixth season out of Louisiana-Lafayette and has been with the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and the Cards.
Profootballfocus.com rated Batiste as one of the worst tackles in the league in terms of pass blocking efficiency. He gave up 52 quarterback pressures in 367 snaps for the Cards last year. If I’m Ben Roethlisberger, I’m not exactly pleased with the thought of Batiste or another free agent tackle Guy Whimper protecting me.
The biggest injury news to date has been the knee troublesome knee of Cortez Allen. He underwent very minor surgery this week and is expected back in about two weeks. That means William Gay slides into the starting spot although Curtis Brown saw lots of time there Friday with Gay in the slot.
I like Allen a lot but this just isn’t a good sign in my opinion. The good news is that he still has plenty of time to get healthy but he still has a lot to prove in terms of overall coverage and tackling skills and time off the field will not allow him to improve on either. Re-signing William Gay was a good move, but he cannot be the long-term answer opposite Ike Taylor.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.