Steelers notebook: Suisham suffers ‘potentially significant’ left knee injury
CANTON, Ohio — Kicker Shaun Suisham left the Steelers’ locker room on crutches after suffering what coach Mike Tomlin termed a “potentially significant” left knee injury during the preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
Tomlin could not confirm exactly when or how the 33-year-old Suisham suffered the injury, but he handled the second-half kickoff and left the field shortly thereafter. He left the locker room with his knee heavily wrapped under a pair of track pants.
“I don’t have any more information at this time,” Tomlin said on the field after the game. “We’re going to evaluate him.”
Entering his 11th season in the NFL and sixth with the Steelers, Suisham has made nine game-winning field goals with the team and has made his past 32 attempts from between 40-49 yards since 2012 — the longest active streak in the league. He has made 87.9 percent of his kicks with the Steelers, the best rate in franchise history.
The only other injury of note, per Tomlin, was running back Cameron Stingily, whose right knee was termed by Tomlin as “a possible meniscus, but not definitive.” He also will be evaluated.
Stingily’s body contorted awkwardly while being tackled on a 1-yard run, and he remained on the ground while teammates called for trainers. Stingily did, however, make it off the field on his own.
Three-fourths a team
There are 90 players on the Steelers’ training camp roster — no fewer than 23 did not play Sunday.
In addition to players on the physically unable to perform list (Bruce Gradkowski, Mike Adams, Senquez Golson), the following did not play: Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Josh Harris, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jarvis Jones, Vince Williams, James Harrison, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Ross Ventrone, Daniel McCullers, Cortez Allen, Maurkice Pouncey, Ramon Foster and Heath Miller.
Archer gets long look
Dri Archer, the Steelers’ second-year running back/receiver, was one of the few offensive players who played more than a half in the preseason opener.
Archer and fullback Will Johnson were the only players with prior NFL regular-season game experience to play for the Steelers on offense during the second half. The speedy, diminutive Archer was used sparingly last season as a rookie third-round pick.
Archer appeared in every offensive series and had the most touches (12) of any Steelers player — four carries, six receptions, a kickoff return and a punt return. He also was targeted five times by quarterback Landry Jones which passes that fell incomplete.
The results were mixed. Archer had 24 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards. His kickoff return was a good one (34 yards), but he muffed a punt on the final play of the first half.
Not so ‘clean’ start
One of Tomlin’s three points of emphasis for evaluation of the preseason opener was “we want to play clean.” In Tomlin vernacular, that means no pre- or post-snap penalties.
During each of their first two offensive possessions, the Steelers were flagged for a penalty before the snap (a pair of false starts).