With a second day of joint practices with the Buffalo Bills to begin in a few hours, with the team about to break training camp and head back to Pittsburgh, with a second preseason game looming at the end of the week,
A subsequent examination of Warren revealed his injury to be to the meniscus in his right knee. Tomlin said Warren will have the meniscus repaired and could be sidelined somewhere in the neighborhood of four weeks.
“Greg Warren has been evaluated. He has a meniscus injury,” said Tomlin. “That’s going to be fixed soon. He’s going to be out for a period of time. I don’t have a detailed picture of what that is, maybe four weeks or so. We’ll get him fixed and get him back to us.”
Three bones meet to form a knee joint: the thigh bone, or femur; the shin bone, or tibia; and the kneecap, or patella. Within the knee joint are two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as shock absorbers between the femur and the tibia, and those are the meniscus, which cushion the joint and keep it stable.
Because NFL rosters currently are set at 90 players, the Steelers do have a backup long-snapper available, and Tomlin said
“Bryce is the leading candidate,” said Tomlin, “and that’s why he was brought in here. He kind of plays tight end on the side.”
“Like a lot of tasks, long-snapping doesn’t get a lot of attention unless it’s negative,” said Tomlin. “I have a lot of respect for what Greg is capable of and the importance of the position.”
That point was driven home in somewhat dramatic fashion back in 2008 when Warren tore his ACL during an Oct. 19 game against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants at Heinz Field. With Warren suddenly unavailable, the Steelers had to turn to James Harrison as the long-snapper.
With 6:48 left in the fourth quarter of a game in which the Steelers held a 14-12 lead, Harrison’s snap sailed over the head of punter Mitch Berger and out of the end zone for a safety that tied the game. After the free kick, the Giants drove for the touchdown that gave them the victory, 21-14.
As for the game against the Bills, Tomlin said the initial plan is for the first units to play more than they did in the preseason opener against the Giants. Traditionally, this has meant the starters playing into the second quarter.
“We’re really going to take a similar approach that we took last time, in terms of we’re going to play everybody who’s healthy and capable of playing,” said Tomlin. “We’re going to play the first team more than we did against the Giants. I haven’t really looked at a snap allocation yet, but rest assured we’re going to get more exposure for those guys in this football game. It’s a necessary step for us.”
TOMLIN’S INJURY UPDATE
“We have some guys who are potentially questionable in terms of their participation in the game against the Bills, but like the preseason opener we’re going to hold out until the 11th hour to make a decision whether they’re available or not. We want to try to give everybody an opportunity to play in this game.