PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers wish they were still playing, but the playoff exit gives several key players the chance to heal.
Six Steelers will have offseason arthroscopic surgeries, according to coach Mike Tomlin, including five starters.
The list and the length of recovery: safety Mike Mitchell (left shoulder, four-month recovery), punter Jordan Berry (right shoulder, four months), linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee, a few weeks), tight end Matt Spaeth (knee, a few weeks), guard David DeCastro (ankle, a few weeks), offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle, a few weeks).
Arthroscopic surgeries are not considered major for a player’s long-term health.
More serious injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey (fibula) running back Le'Veon Bell (torn MCL) and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (torn ACL) have progressed according to plan, Tomlin said. All three players missed the season with those injuries.
Running back DeAngelo Williams does not need surgery on the foot injury that sidelined him for two playoff games.
“The necessary time to restore their bodies, that’s an element to this,” Tomlin said about a successful offseason.
The Steelers won 10 regular-season games and advanced to the AFC divisional round despite injuries to several key players.
Tomlin recognizes the fight in his team, but he’s still “disappointed” in the team’s season, for one reason.
“When we said to be world champion is our goal, we meant it,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin is conducting player exit interviews and evaluating his roster and coaching staff, which he says he wants back in its entirety.