Elijah Mitchell

Injury Notes: Steelers, JPP, Jets, Mailata

After suffering a pectoral injury in Week 2, Ben Roethlisberger is not in jeopardy of missing Week 3. The Steelers will have their 18th-year quarterback against the Bengals. Big Ben returned to full practice Friday. He will not have his top receiver available, however. Although Diontae Johnson‘s late-game injury was not believed to be serious, Mike Tomlin pushed back on the prospect the third-year wideout would quickly surmount his knee problem. The Steelers have declared their leading receiver out for Sunday. The third-year pass catcher has run into myriad injury issues as a pro, missing games or parts of games with several maladies last year. The Steelers have contract-year wideout James Washington set to step in as a full-timer.

Here is the latest from the injury front going into the season’s third Sunday:

  • In addition to being unlikely to have Antonio Brown available, the Buccaneers will be down Jason Pierre-Paul against the Rams. The 11th-year pass rusher will miss Week 3 with hand and shoulder injuries; he did not practice this week. Tampa Bay will be set to use first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka more extensively in L.A.
  • Andre Dillard looks likely to return to the Eagles‘ starting lineup for the first time since November 2019. Recently extended left tackle Jordan Mailata is likely to miss Monday night’s game against the Cowboys, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. A knee injury is expected to keep the ex-rugby player out of Philly’s lineup, though Garafolo notes the team does not view the setback as serious. Mailata suffered the injury in practice this week, E.J. Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds. Dillard missed extensive camp time due to a knee injury and has not played an offensive snap since 2019.
  • The Jets will have Zach Wilson in uniform against the Broncos, but the rookie quarterback is playing through a groin injury. The No. 2 overall pick sustained the injury during the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Panthers, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Wilson practiced fully this week, but Howe adds the BYU product went through an MRI recently. Although Wilson might not be in danger of missing time, this is certainly an issue to monitor.
  • The Packers are likely to be severely shorthanded on their O-line in San Francisco. Elgton Jenkins, who has filled in for PUP list-stationed David Bakhtiari at left tackle, is doubtful to face the 49ers because of an ankle issue. Green Bay will likely be forced to use its third left tackle option against the 49ers, who feature Nick Bosa as their primary blindside rusher. The Packers signed Dennis Kelly this offseason, giving them a potential option at right tackle in the event they slide right-side starter Billy Turner to left tackle.
  • Between their practice squad and active roster, the 49ers have seven running backs. That total balloons to nine if Raheem Mostert (IR) and Jeff Wilson (PUP) are included, and San Francisco’s backfield will be missing more pieces Sunday. Due to injuries sustained in Week 2, Elijah Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty are respectively doubtful and out for Sunday night’s game. On the bright side, third-round rookie Trey Sermon has cleared concussion protocol. Despite beginning the season as a healthy scratch, Sermon should be expected to start, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. The 49ers have Trenton Cannon and recent addition Jacques Patrick, an XFL alum the 49ers added off the Bengals’ practice squad, on their active roster and Kerryon Johnson and Josh Hokit on their practice squad.

Saints Reach 53-Man Roster Limit

Every team had to get under the 53-man limit by Saturday’s deadline, but the Saints were the last to publicly announce their cuts. Here’s the full rundown of their moves:

Waived:

Released:

IR:

The Saints re-signed Cadet this offseason only to put him on the trade block in June. They didn’t find any takers then and they apparently couldn’t find any now. The Jets, who pursued him in free agency, could have interest in signing him.

Saints Sign Zach Line, Bryan Braman

The Saints made a series of moves Wednesday, bringing in three new players – fullback Zach Line, linebacker Bryan Braman and undrafted rookie defensive back Elijah Mitchell – and parting with offensive lineman Jack Allen, whom they waived/injured.

Zach Line (vertical)

The most notable addition may be Line, who spent the first four years of his career with the Vikings and is coming off back-to-back 16-game seasons. Line totaled 339 snaps in Minnesota last year (210 on offense, 129 on special teams), but offseason hip surgery and a lack of demand for fullbacks likely combined to make it difficult for him to find employment. Before joining the Saints, who deployed fullback John Kuhn on 397 snaps last year (278 on offense, 119 via special teams), Line’s only known interest came from the Jets. It’s unclear whether Kuhn is now on the hot seat as a result of the Line signing.

Braman, meanwhile, has posted five 16-game seasons during his six-year career. His only missed time (two games) came as a member of the Texans in 2012, his second NFL season. Braman spent his first three years in Houston and the previous three in Philadelphia, where he functioned as a leading special teamer. The 30-year-old posted upward of 1,100 special teams snaps during his tenure with the Eagles and paced the unit in playing time in each of the previous two seasons. Thanks in part to Braman, the Eagles’ ST unit ranked as the NFL’s No. 2 group in 2016, per Football Outsiders. The Saints finished just 27th, on the other hand, so picking up Line and Braman could be the latest moves that improve the unit under new coordinator Bradford Banta.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.