Coach Mike Tomlin preaches it all of the time.
The Steelers will never use injuries as an excuse.
But there is no doubt the Steelers have been hit by the injury bug in a big manner this year.
Among those who have spent time on the injury list are quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph, running backs James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and Trey Edmunds, receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and Ryan Switzer. And for the sake of making this just a list of names on this page, I’ll stop there. You get the picture.
Despite it all, despite the injury bug rearing its ugly head, the team is still 5-5 and they are in the hunt.
“I think there is resilience in that,” said Cam Heyward. “Time will tell. I have never been one to hide from injuries, make excuses and such. It’s a chance for other guys to step up in six games and prove it.
“You never know who is going to get hurt and when. All you can be responsible for is making sure the ending product is getting the job it done. Right now, we are 50-50. We have the chance to get over .500 and show it doesn’t matter who is out there, we are still responsible.”
The next man up mentality has been tested time and time again, but somehow, someway, the plug and play way keeps on going.
“We said it at the beginning of the year but now it really is that,” said Terrell Edmunds. “Anybody that we have out there we just want them to go out there and put it on the line for us. That is how we are approaching it every week. We just have to go out there and play.
“We’ve got to do it. The hope is not gone. We can’t slip up anymore. We have to start fast, finish fast and play a full game and go out there and get the wins.”
While the players have stepped up, they aren’t the only ones who are getting the credit for keeping this afloat.
“I think it speaks volumes,” said Steven Nelson. “This coaching staff has done a great job of getting everybody ready, letting us know we have to hold everyone accountable no matter who is thrown out there. Everybody has to step up. It’s football. You never know what is going to happen. Guys go down. It’s just the reality of the sport.”