Sammie Coates is dealing with a number of issues with his hands right now. In addition to playing through seven stitches on a swollen left hand, the second-year Pittsburgh Steelers receiver also has a broken index finger, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported Saturday on Twitter.
Coates missed two days of practice time this week with the issues to his hands, which affected some of his drops during last week’s 6-catch, 139-yard and 2-touchdown performance against the New York Jets. He returned on Friday to catch some passes and is officially listed as questionable for the game.
With a 1-4 opponent in the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Steelers might be tempted to sit Coates until his hands are a little more right. However, Pittsburgh is dealing with a number of issues with its pass catchers. Martavis Bryant, of course, is suspended for the season for substance abuse. Additionally, Markus Wheaton has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. If Coates is also unavailable, rookie Eli Rogers should assume his workload in the passing game.
These issues could lead to a more run-based approach with the tandem of Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams going on the road to face a Dolphins run defense that is surrendering the most yards per game in the league at 150.8.