Heyward (ankle) participated in full at the Steelers' Thursday practice. Heyward has been limited since suffering a high ankle sprain in a preseason game. He said he expected to be ready for week one, which was seen as an optimistic recovery time, but he managed to do it and will play in the team's Week 1 contest against the Redskins.
Heyward (ankle) said he expects to be ready for Week 1, despite suffering a high ankle sprain in Friday's preseason game against the Saints, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. While not completely unheard of, two weeks would represent a very quick recovery from a high ankle sprain. In all likelihood, Heyward will be no better than questionable for Week 1, perhaps even needing to miss the first few games of the season. It would be a big loss for Pittsburgh's defense, though the unit does boast improved depth in the front seven this year.
Heyward will not return to Friday's matchup with the Saints due to a right ankle injury. The severity of the starting defensive end's injury is currently unknown. Expect an update on his status when the team releases more information regarding the nature of his injury.
Heyward totaled 54 tackles (39 solo), including a team leading seven sacks in 2015. He also had one forced fumble, while extending his consecutive regular season games played streak to 80 - tied for the fifth longest active consecutive games played streak among NFL defensive ends.
Heyward had three tackles (one solo) including a sack in Pittsburgh's loss to Seattle on Sunday. The sack was the fifth of the season for Heyward, and the 20th of his career. He was also credited with a blocked an extra point in the third quarter to temporarily preserve the Steelers' one-point lead. With uncertainty at the quarterback position, Pittsburgh will need a big game from its defense against Indianapolis, who they defeated 51-34 last season, in Week 13.
|4||10/03||Kansas City Chiefs||4|
|5||10/09||New York Jets||15|
|7||10/23||New England Patriots||7|
|13||12/04||New York Giants||28|