Steelers notebook: Cornerback Joe Haden ruled out against Bengals |

Steelers notebook: Cornerback Joe Haden ruled out against Bengals

Joe Rutter

Cornerback Joe Haden will miss a third consecutive game with a fractured fibula when the Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium.

Coach Mike Tomlin, at his news press conference Tuesday, wouldn’t make any declarations about Haden’s availability beyond the game against the Bengals.

“No clarity on his situation and when he’ll return,” Tomlin said. “As we get close, I’ll ask more definitive questions about where he is.”

Tomlin said tight end Vance McDonald (ankle) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) “definitely will have a chance” to return against the Bengals. McDonald missed the past two games, and Smith-Schuster sat out the 31-28 win over Green Bay, the first absence of his young NFL career.

Linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle) and free safety Mike Mitchell (ankle) could be limited in practice early in the week, Tomlin said. The Steelers have an extra day of practice this week because of the Monday night game.

Return investment

Tomlin is open to Martavis Bryant getting more chances as a kickoff returner, although he wasn’t ready to commit to anything Tuesday.

Bryant, who hadn’t returned kicks since college, returned the opening kickoff 38 yards and averaged 29 yards on two returns. The 38-yarder was a season long for the Steelers.

“We’ll keep looking,” Tomlin said. “That opportunity was born out of injury to JuJu. He did some nice things, and we’ll weigh those options when we look at who is available to us this week.”

Staying put

The Steelers’ game in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens will not be flexed out of its prime-time slot by the NFL. Kickoff remains at 8:30 p.m., and will be the fourth consecutive night game for the Steelers.

The only games moved by the NFL that weekend were the Dallas-New York Giants game to 1 p.m. on Fox and the Seattle-Jacksonville game to 4:25 p.m. on Fox.

Roster move

The Steelers added running back Terrell Watson to the practice squad. The move came three days after Watson was waived to make room for running back Fitzgerald Toussaint on the 53-man roster.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
The Colts' Chester Rogers tries to elude Steelers safety Sean Davis, as cornerback Joe Haden lays on the ground after breaking his leg during the first quarter Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant beats the Packers' Josh Hawkins for a touchdown in the second quarter Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 at Heinz Field.
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.