One-time Fantasy sleeper Vance McDonald will spend training camp hoping to carve out a big role in the Steelers offense. He better hope he can stay healthy first. With a touchdown here and a decent game there, you mightn't fear him being unfair but better tight ends are everywhere. Ol' McDonald's missed 22 career games, he's a Draft Day no-go.
McDonald (foot) sat out of team drills during Monday's practice, Mike Prisuta of the Steelers' official site reports. McDonald missed the first two preseason games, but the hope is that he'll return for the third exhibition contest when starters usually log heavy workloads. The 6-foot-4, 267-pound has the potential to serve as a big red-zone target for QB Ben Roethlisberger, but injuries bogged him down in 2017 when he caught 14 balls for 188 yards and one touchdown while logging just 270 offensive snaps over 10 games. If McDonald can't shake this injury by the season opener against Cleveland, Jesse James will tagged as the interim starting tight end again.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday that nothing has changed with McDonald (foot), Joe Rutter of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. McDonald is listed as the starting tight end on Pittsburgh's initial preseason depth chart, but he hasn't practiced since July 29 and didn't play in the team's preseason opener Thursday against Philadelphia. The prolonged absence is raising some questions about his Week 1 availability, and McDonald's troublesome medical history does nothing to quell those concerns. Jesse James is no match in terms of athleticism, but his solid track record for durability could ultimately leave him as the team's default No. 1 tight end for a third straight year. The Steelers had been hoping to see McDonald build on his 10-catch performance from last year's playoff loss to Jacksonville.
McDonald (foot) is not practicing Saturday, Jeremy Folwer of ESPN reports. McDonald, who didn't play in Thursday's preseason opener, has been nursing an unspecified foot injury for over a week now, and the tight end remains without a firm timeline to return to the field.
McDonald (foot) will not play in Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles, Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com reports. The 28-year-old hasn't practiced since July 29, when he first injured his foot. He's expected to challenge Jesse James for the top spot on the depth chart, but health has always been the biggest issue for McDonald, who is hoping to build on a 10-catch performance against Jacksonville in last year's playoffs.
McDonald left Sunday's practice with a foot injury, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The extent of McDonald's injury isn't clear, though there haven't been any reports that the tight end is dealing with anything severe. In any case, Xavier Grimble should temporarily see an increase in first-team reps alongside Jesse James, who is competing with McDonald for the No. 1 role.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|3||09/25||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||5.00|
|13||12/02||Los Angeles Chargers||4||5.00|
|15||12/16||New England Patriots||15||6.42|
|16||12/23||@New Orleans Saints||5||5.22|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||38||23||302||3||13||13.13||48|