Foster, Hilton, Grimble among players returning to practice for Steelers
Because the practice for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday was a bonus one this week, the team didn’t have to announce an injury report.
Several players, however, confirmed their return to participation, including guard Ramon Foster, slot cornerback Mike Hilton, strong safety Morgan Burnett and tight end Xavier Grimble.
Foster donned pads for the first time since July 28 when he was injured early in the first padded practice of training camp. He missed the entire preseason with a bone bruise and hyperextension of his right knee.
“I wasn’t scared about being back out there in pads or anything like that,” Foster said. “I was trying to make sure I was sure of myself, and today was a good confirmation.”
Foster said he is hopeful of starting against Cleveland on Sunday.
Tight end Vance McDonald said he remains day to day with a foot injury that he sustained early in training camp. McDonald hasn’t practiced since.
“Doing what I can to get back,” McDonald said. “It’s frustrating.”
McDonald hasn’t given up hope of being in the lineup Sunday even though he has only three more chances to practice before the opener.
“I’m trying to, for sure,” McDonald said.
Grimble also is optimistic of playing against the Browns. He missed the final three preseason games because of a torn ligament in his thumb that required surgery. Grimble said he was a full practice participant Monday.
At the time of his injury, Grimble thought he had jeopardized his roster spot.
“I was scared at first,” he said. “I just kept playing it close, prayed on it and tried to do everything I could to get back.”
Grimble’s return would give the Steelers two healthy tight ends – Jesse James being the other – for the opener.
Hilton has not played since taking one special teams snap in the second preseason game at Green Bay. He slyly listed his injury as “undisclosed.”
Hilton said he had a full practice Monday while working with the scout team. Cam Sutton replaced him as the slot corner. Hilton expects to return to his role on the first team later in the week.
“It was so I could catch that rhythm and get back into the football movement and conditioning,” Hilton said. “Throughout the week, I think things are going to progress, and we’ll be prepared for Sunday.”
Hilton said Burnett took snaps at safety. Burnett also missed the past two preseason games.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.