Bye gives Steelers extra time to heal

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers should be relatively healthy when they return from their bye week, and coach Mike Tomlin confirmed the chest injury sustained by starting left guard Ramon Foster last Sunday is not serious.

Foster suffered a pectoral strain, and there is a good chance the fifth-year veteran will be able to play Oct. 13 when the Steelers visit the New York Jets.

“We’re optimistic about a sooner rather than later return,” Tomlin said Wednesday following the Steelers’ final practice of the week.

One player who could be sidelined for a couple of weeks is rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton.

Wheaton had surgery on Tuesday to repair the finger he broke in the Steelers’ 34-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Tomlin said Wheaton has to have stitches removed before the Steelers get a better read on when he will be able to return.

A handful of Steelers were held out of the only two days of practice this week because of injuries or as a precaution, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger partially dislocated the index finger on his throwing hand. Joining him in watching practice were tight end Heath Miller and Le’Veon Bell, each of whom recently returned from their respective knee and foot injuries.

Tomlin said Roethlisberger won’t have any issues when the Steelers resume practice next week.

“Neither should Heath or Le’Veon Bell,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers return to practice Monday following a four-day break for the players.