Steelers daily camp watch: Tight end ranks continue to thin with injury to Grimble

August 23, 2018
Steelers tight end Jesse James pulls in a catch between Nat Berhe and Matthew Thomas during practice Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 at Saint Vincent College.

Each day of Steelers training camp, the Trib rounds up some things to watch for during practice at Saint Vincent:


Tight end groupings: Jesse James is the only returning tight end who has remained healthy the entire camp. Vance McDonald has missed nine practices in a row, and Xavier Grimble had his thumb and wrist wrapped Saturday when he exited early with an injury. If they are unable to go, James will be backed up by Pharoah McKever, Bucky Hodges and exempt player Christian Scotland-Williamson of the United Kingdom.

Outside linebacker rotation: T.J. Watt took a step toward returning to practice -- he also has missed nine in a row -- when he tested his injured hamstring in some conditioning drills Saturday. Bud Dupree also may be ready to return from a concussion. Dupree was absent Saturday because of the birth of his child. Anthony Chickillo and Farrington Huegenin played on the first-team defense Saturday in their absence.

New faces on the line: Patrick Morris was elevated to first-team center on Saturday with B.J. Finney sitting out because of a quad contusion and Maurkice Pouncey being excused for the day. Injuries along the line have given undrafted newcomers such as Larson Graham, Parker Collins, Parker Cothren and R.J. Prince to take more meaningful snaps.

Field conditions: Because of rain Friday, the two fields closest to the grandstands were unusable Saturday. The Steelers warmed up on the turf practice field and then confined much of practice to Field 3. Unless the grass fields dry out, the Steelers could be forced to use the alternate fields for another day.

Practice: 2:55-5 p.m.

Where: Chuck Noll Field, Saint Vincent