The injury problems just continue to mount for the Steelers, as it’s being reported by various news outlets that second-year receiver Sammie Coates is dealing with a fractured finger that leaves his status against the Dolphins uncertain.
Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tweeted this early Saturday morning:
“Sammie Coates has broken index finger in addition to 7 stitches in left hand. Still might play in Miami.”
Compounding matters at the receiver spot is a shoulder injury that has fourth-year man Markus Wheaton listed as out for the Dolphins game. The good news for Pittsburgh is that slot receiver Eli Rogers is expected to play after missing two games with a turf toe injury.
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If Coates, who is officially listed as questionable, can’t play or is in any way affected by his injury (or injuries in the case of the still mending laceration), you can expect veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey to step up and fill in as the number two receiver opposite Antonio Brown. Heyward-Bey has a history of suspect hands, but he could do well to step in and provide valuable production at a time when his team may really need it.
If Coates does miss Sunday’s game, he’ll do so after having the best day of his young career a week earlier, where he caught six passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Sure, there were those countless drops, but the fact that Coates recovered at the end to catch four passes down-the-stretch–including his second touchdown–was certainly encouraging.
But, the fracture on his index finger certainly is not.
In addition to the injury statuses of Coates and Wheaton, defensive end Cameron Heyward will miss the first game of his career on Sunday, due to a hamstring injury suffered against the Jets last week. Joining Heyward with the “out” designation are inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), backup center Cody Wallace (knee), and safety Shamarko Thomas (groin)
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