After having the weekend off the Steelers returned to practice on Monday and wide receiver Lance Moore said it felt good to be working with his teammates again. Moore missed the first two games of the season with a groin injury, but is hoping to play this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
"I feel better than I have in weeks, it's encouraging and exciting," said Moore, who also missed the last two games of the preseason. "I don't want to put the cart before the horse. I have a long week of practice coming up and I am just trying to feel better and better during the week and go from there."
Moore said it's been frustrating watching the last few weeks when all he wants to do is be on the field playing.
"This is the most frustrating thing a football player has to go through," said Moore of dealing with the injury. "It never gets any easier. People have said you have missed games in your career before. It doesn't get any easier. If you are a competitor it should frustrate you and bug you and make you want to get back as soon as possible."
There have been some advantages as he has used the time away from the physical side of the game to continue studying the nuances of what defenses are trying to do against the Steelers' offense.
"As far being able to sit back and watch, I am a visual guy who learns a lot off the stuff I see," said Moore. "It's been good for me to be able to see what is going on in the games and the types of looks we are getting. Hopefully I will be able to use that to my advantage when I get out there."
Moore said the true test of how ready he is to return to the playing field will come on Tuesday when he will be able to tell if practicing aggravated the groin any further. He is hoping, though, to be out there on Sunday helping the offense in any way he is asked to.
"I am trying to do whatever I can to help," said Moore. "If they want me to come in and play a bunch of snaps, I will be ready. If they want me to come in and play a few snaps, I will be ready. Whatever they want me to do; whatever the coaches want.
"If it were up to me I would be on the field every play, but that's not my job. My job is to be ready when they put me out there."