Players weren't the only ones who used last week's bye to get healthy. Special teams coordinator Al Everest had back surgery after dealing with pain and discomfort over the past six weeks to repair a bulging disc between his fourth and fifth lumbar.
"A piece of it broke off," explained Everest of why the surgery was required. "I tried an epidural and I tried a shot of steroids in it to try to shrink it. Because a piece had broken off I had to have it taken out."
Everest wasted no time having the surgery, getting it done by Dr. Joseph Maroon on Monday, Nov. 14, the first day of the bye week and missing the team's practices last week.
"My goal was to make it to the bye week," said Everest. "I don't think I could have made the season to be honest. I was at a point where my legs were numb. I couldn't take any needles and stick my feet. I couldn't feel anything in my left foot. It was taking everything I had to get through it. Luckily we had the bye week coming up and I made it. I was fortunate."
Now, a little over a week from surgery, Everest said he is doing much better and feels comfortable knowing he won't be in pain and won't have a problem getting through the rest of the season.
"I am back good and ready to roll," said Everest. "I am 100 percent better. It's still sore, but as far as the legs and nerves, it's 100 percent better. Dr. Maroon did a great job."
He is also grateful to Coach Mike Tomlin for giving him the time off to have the surgery done.
"It was a bye week for a coach to get healthy," said Everest. "That is what Coach Tomlin said, he told me get it done. He said he doesn't need any John Wayne during the bye week. He told me get it done and I really appreciated coach saying that and taking care of me."