Ryan Shazier may miss preseason opener

LATROBE, Pa. -- What coach Mike Tomlin has twice dismissed as a “boo boo” could delay the Pittsburgh Steelers from getting to see prized rookie Ryan Shazier in his first NFL game.

Due to a knee injury, Shazier is among the Steelers who may not play Saturday night against the New York Giants. Tomlin, who has been coy about Shazier’s condition since the first-round pick limped off the practice field Sunday, did not rule out Shazier -- or any of the other Steelers who are nursing injuries -- from playing in the team’s first exhibition game.

But Tomlin, whose team visits the Giants Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. ET game, did not provide any clarity either when it comes to Shazier’s status.

Tomlin said he doesn’t know if Shazier will practice this afternoon. The eighth-year coach also said that Shazier does not have to practice today to play against the Giants.

In short, he said nothing new about Shazier, who is slated to start this season at inside linebacker, other than that the Ohio State product may not play in the preseason opener.

Others whose status is in question for the game at MetLife Stadium: outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (groin), nose tackle Steve McLendon (concussion), wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion), tight end Rob Blanchflower (ankle) and linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (groin).

“If they’re deemed healthy and ready to play I’d just as soon get that first play out of the way so we can just move on with the process,” Tomlin said Thursday morning at a news conference previewing the Steelers’ first preseason game. “Our intention is to play those guys if it’s at all possible but we’ll wait till the last minute to make those judgments.”

Tomlin said he has yet to determine how much the starters will play against the Giants. Younger players who are projected starters could get more snaps than veteran starters, Tomlin said.

“Our goal is to give these guys what they need or what it is we need to see from them," Tomlin said. "It will be different things for different people.”