Healthy and ready to play


For the second consecutive day in advance of the regular-season opener against the Patriots, the Steelers' practice report lists only quarterback Landry Jones (concussion) as not having participated.

It might not be all systems go in New England, but it should be close.

"Everyone needs to be healthy for the regular season and I think we've accomplished that goal, short of (center Maurkice) Pouncey," free safety Mike Mitchell said. "That's a huge loss for us and we won't have some other guys (running back Le'veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant are suspended).

"But I think for the most part our team came out of training camp healthy and ready to play."

That includes Mitchell, who started just one of five preseason games (Aug. 23 against Green Bay), and inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who hasn't played since a brief appearance in the Hall-of Fame Game on Aug. 9 against Minnesota.

Both of those players were declared "ready to go," by head coach Mike Tomlin at the outset of this week's preparation for the Patriots.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who missed the final two preseason games, began the week maintaining he was "day to day" but also said "it's looking really good," in terms of his potential availability at New England.

Timmons said he feels ready, particularly as it relates to his ability to get from Point A to Point B in a hurry.

"The speed is always were it is," he insisted. "Nothing's changed there."

Timmons is also looking forward to a healthy defense getting a chance to come together and perform on the grandiose stage that is the NFL's annual season-opening, nationally-televised extravaganza.

"We're just going to play Steeler ball, play hard-nosed football and just have fun out there," he said. "It's going to be great. We're going to be the only team playing. A lot of our parents and friends are going to be watching. We have to put on a good showing for them."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.