Ola Adeniyi’s hamstring injury is long healed.
“Physically I am ready to go today, hands down,” the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie edge rusher said Monday. “That’s not even a question. I’m ready to go physically.”
But Adeniyi has not practiced yet during the regular season after he was placed on the injured reserve list as a result of suffering a hamstring injury during the final preseason game.
And even though IR rules allow Adeniyi to return to practice this week, it doesn’t seem as if he will be practicing any time soon.
“I haven’t really heard anything,” Adeniyi said, “Nobody has told me anything yet. So…”
The Steelers practice Tuesday and Wednesday leading into an idle weekend before ramping up work next Monday in advance of their Oct. 28 game against Cleveland.
Their play at outside linebacker has been good — T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and Anthony Chickillo have combined for 10 sacks — but they only have three on the 53-man roster. Adeniyi, an undrafted rookie from Toledo, had three sacks in four preseason games — a strong enough performance he made the 53-man roster when camp broke.
But the next day, Adeniyi was surprised to be told he was going on IR . He said even then his hamstring wasn’t seriously injured. Two weeks ago, he said it had “been good for weeks.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how it works. I don’t really know the politics of it all,” Adeniyi said. “So, I’m just kind of waiting for somebody to come and tell me.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, just keep working out and just keep getting better and keep getting my body right. Whenever I get called up, I’ll be ready to go.”
Once Adeniyi begins practicing, the Steelers have a 14-day window to activate him. It could be they are waiting for an injury elsewhere on the 53-man roster to create space. Or perhaps management prefers to wait another week to buy time, figuring a bye week would be a waste.
“I’m a rookie, so there’s not too much power that I have with that,” Adeniyi said. “So whenever they say ‘We’re pulling you up,’ then I’m ready. If they say they’re keeping me on (IR), then I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing now, just working on myself and on my body and just getting ready.”
Adeniyi has been a regular at practice in his 92 jersey ( at a shorter-than-average 6-foot-1, it harkens to James Harrison ) and at position meetings. He’s working out and running, just not taking part in drills with the team.
“Mentally, I feel like I am still working,” Adeniyi said. “I go to meetings and still sit down and am still listening and write down all my notes and all the things I would be doing as a player. So mentally I am grinding, I am still there. Playbook-wise I am still there, too.
“I feel like when I get back I will be full-go.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.