(Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward underwent surgery for a groin injury he suffered in Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers and likely won't return from injured reserve until November.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said he would offer a further update "on the other side of surgery." NFL Network reported Thursday that Heyward is out eight weeks.
Heyward, 34, was injured on a play in the second quarter. He briefly left the game, returned for one play, and was helped off the field.
The six-time Pro Bowl selection is a defensive captain for the Steelers, and his versatile skill set makes him a difficult player to replace.
"Obviously, losing Cam is significant. But that's what team is about," Tomlin said. "Replacing Cam is not a one-man job. It's a multiple-man job and a coach's job because it changes your schematics when you lose significant players. And so are we all acknowledged that, and we all run to that, not away from that. That's an opportunity for us to show what team is about. Things that we hold near and dear, like next man up. We have an opportunity to make that real when we're faced with the adversity that comes with attrition in this game. And so that's our mindset, that's our plan. Multiple people, schematics included."
Isaiahh Loudermilk or Keeanu Benton could be tasked with the responsibility of replacing Heyward in the starting lineup.
A three-time All-Pro, Heyward was a first-round draft pick (31st overall) of the Steelers in 2011 out of Ohio State. He has played in 184 NFL games (149 starts) and has 78.5 sacks and 614 tackles.
Heyward, a Pittsburgh native, has missed only two games since the beginning of the 2017 season.
-Field Level Media