Coates practiced Wednesday for the first time all training camp, immediately thrust into a battle with Hunter for what seems to be just one available roster spot. Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant (suspension), Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster (leg) are clear locks, and Darrius Heyward-Bey always seems to stick around as a key special teamer. Coates has an advantage in terms of youth and likely special teams contributions, but Hunter impressed at training camp the last three weeks while his competition was sidelined. The winner is unlikely to serve as anything more than an occasional deep threat in Pittsburgh's offense.
Coates (knee) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list on Wednesday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Coates will return to practice Wednesday after recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, which landed him on the PUP list in late July. It'll still be an uphill battle for Coates to earn significant playing time on offense with fellow receivers Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant (suspension), Eli Rogers and Juju Smith-Schuster all healthy. Coates figures to see second-team reps in practice alongside Darrius Heyward-Bey and Justin Hunter heading into the Steelers' second preseason game against the Falcons on Sunday.
Coates (knee) hopes to return to practice Wednesday, Joe Rutter of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Still on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Coates thus far has been limited to running and catching passes on a side field. He doesn't figure to get many first-team reps whenever he's available, as Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and Juju Smith-Schuster are all healthy at the moment. Coates may even be in danger of losing his roster spot, though it helps that he has experience playing special teams.
Coates who said that he underwent a knee scope at the end of the 2016 season, and then another one recently, indicated that he doesn't expect to miss all of training camp. The third-year wideout finished last season with 21 catches for 435 yards and two TDs in 14 games, though nagging injuries over that span limited his effectiveness. He's set to jostle for depth chart slotting behind Antonio Brown, with fellow wideouts Martavis Bryant, Cobi Hamilton, Justin Hunter, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Coates (knee) is expected to return to practice in a "couple weeks," Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network reports.
Per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Coates underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week, which the wideout confirmed Thursday was his second knee scope of the offseason. With "debris" seemingly cleaned out of the region for the time being, Coates will spend the initial weeks of camp focusing on rehab. As a result, expect the wideout to land on the PUP list in the near future, from which he can be activated at any point during the preseason. Once healthy, he'll compete for a spot at the bottom of the depth chart with rookie Juju Smith-Schuster, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Cobi Hamilton.
|P4||8/31/17||@ CAR||7:30 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ KC||4:25 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ DET||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/17||@ CIN||8:30 pm|
|16||12/25/17||@ HOU||4:30 pm|