The Pittsburgh Steelers are one week into training camp and the injuries are already starting to pile up.
At tight end the status of starter Heath Miller remains unknown, while his top backup, David Johnson, recently underwent knee surgery that will sideline him for a couple of weeks.
Then there is starting cornerback Cortez Allen.
Allen did not appear in practice this week and it was revealed on Friday that he underwent “minor” knee surgery.
“We wanted him to get the surgery done now so he can begin rehabilitating immediately,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Friday in a team statement. “This surgery was a minor procedure and will have no long-term effects on his return to the field. We look forward to his rehabilitation process and having him back on the field in a couple of weeks.”
So that happened.
Allen is expected to take over the starting role opposite of Ike Taylor following the offseason loss of Keenan Lewis in free agency. In his limited action last season, particularly over the final weeks, Allen was arguably the best player on the defense and seemed to have a hand in just about every turnover the defense forced. For the season he intercepted two passes (both against the Cincinnati Bengals), forced three fumbles, and recovered another. All of that happened over the final two weeks of the season.
There is no timetable as to when Allen will be able to return to the field, but the position is pretty thin with him sidelined and Lewis now playing for the Saints.
New Orleans, meanwhile, seems to be pretty thrilled with what they’ve seen from Lewis so far.