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David Jones Jul 28

Wide receiver might be the Steelers' deepest and most competitive position heading into training camp.

Good thing, too, because two of the 11 receivers will begin camp unable to practice.

The more prominent of those two, Sammie Coates, doesn't expect his absence to last too long.

“Couple weeks,” the third-year receiver said not long after moving his belongings into the Rooney Hall dorm Thursday. “I should be fine.”

Coates and Canaan Severin were the only players the Steelers placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp. Severin, who spent last season on injured reserve after being signed as an undrafted free agent, could not complete the conditioning test Thursday. He needed to be carted off the practice field.

Coates did not participate in the annual conditioning runs because he had what coach Mike Tomlin called “a meniscal procedure a couple of weeks ago.” Coates said his knee “locked up on” him while running during training.

“I wanted to (address) it the right way,Womens Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey,” Coates said of his second knee scope since January. “It's an old injury. I had got it cleaned up at the end of the season. It's just something where there's still some pieces in there,Authentic Karl Joseph Jersey, so I went and got it done.

“It was something that has been there for a while,Womens Jihad Ward Jersey, and we finally got it fixed so it was the best thing I could do.”

Tomlin did not want to speculate on how long Coates would be out, but Coates said he “definitely” thinks he will get a chance to practice at St. Vincent. Camp in Latrobe lasts three weeks.

Regardless,Womens Shilique Calhoun Jersey, it was the latest injury setback for a player who started the 2016 season with promise but saw it deteriorate dramatically after a pair of finger injuries. Coates' left index finger was broken and led to a gash that required stitches during an Oct. 9 game against the New York Jets.

Four weeks later, his left ring finger was broken during a game at Baltimore.

Thursday, though, Coates said his fingers “feel great.”

Over his first 18 quarters last season, Coates had six catches of at least 40 yards. That was enough to tie for the NFL lead for the season despite Coates not having any the remainder of 2016.

After having 19 receptions in his first five games — the fifth game was when he suffered his first broken finger — Coates had just two in the 11 games after his first finger injury (Coates played in nine of them).

“It's all mental,” Coates said. “With a player like me, and stuff happens and it gets in your head. It's more head games than anything. The injury, I was young. I had an injury when I was hot, that's part of the game. If you let it get to you mentally,Authentic Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey,Authentic Bryce Petty Jersey, it messes your whole game up.”

Coates had two catches in three playoff games — and had a high-profile drop early in the AFC championship loss at New England.

After the game,Womens Bryce Petty Jersey,Womens Karl Joseph Jersey, “At times,Authentic Jihad Ward Jersey, veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said,Authentic Shilique Calhoun Jersey, it almost felt as if (playing for a Super Bowl berth) was too big for the young guys.” It could have been interpreted as a comment directed — at least in part — toward Coates.

Coates, though, didn't take it personally.

“That's out leader, (and) we didn't make the plays when we needed to make the plays,” he said. “That was a big game. We left a lot out there on the field, so he had the right to say that.”