Steelers daily training camp primer: Backup linebackers could be in spotlight
Each day of Steelers training camp, the Trib rounds up some things to watch for during practice at Saint Vincent:
WHAT TO WATCH
Backups at linebacker: With T.J. Watt nursing back to health from a hamstring injury, and Bud Dupree finishing the practice Friday night in concussion protocol, the Steelers could have two backups playing a starting role in practice. Anthony Chickillo already is starting in place of Watt. Keion Adams, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, is the likely player to get first-team reps in Dupree’s absence.
Secondary play: Morgan Burnett and Sean Davis were on the field Friday night for the first time together in a padded practice. They’ll continue to interact in the secondary while rookie Terrell Edmunds moves back to the second team. Davis will continue to work at free safety with Burnett playing his customary strong safety spot.
Injured wide receivers: Marcus Tucker, a candidate to earn a roster spot as a slot receiver, did not practice Friday because of a foot/ankle injury. Darrius Heyward-Bey also sat out with back/neck issues. With Antonio Brown also missing the past three practices, coach Mike Tomlin turned to undrafted rookie free agent Damoun Patterson to work with the first team. It was a chance for a player signed out of rookie minicamp to run routes against more experienced cornerbacks and safeties. Patterson has impressed early in camp and may be a candidate to get playing time with the first and second units.
Ramon’s health: Guard Ramon Foster isn’t ready to practice, but he did rejoin his teammates on the field to watch practice Friday night for the first time since he sustained a right knee injury last Saturday. Foster limped as he walked and was sporting a large brace on his injured knee. Expect Foster to continue providing support for his teammates until he’s cleared to resume practicing in a few weeks.
Practice: 2:55-5 p.m.
Where: Chuck Noll Field, Saint Vincent