Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Te Green to Practice Next Week Free-Agent Pickup a Deep Threat, Too

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Te Green to Practice Next Week Free-Agent Pickup a Deep Threat, Too

Article excerpt

After losing so many players to injury lately, the Steelers could add one, and a big one at that.

Tight end Ladarius Green, their major free-agent signing this year, is eligible to practice for the first time with them next week and he says the plan is for him to do just that. Green was placed on the NFL's physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp and has yet to practice with the Steelers.

"I'm definitely excited to be back out there," Green told the Post-Gazette Wednesday.

He's not the only one. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and guard David DeCastro welcomed the news.

"It's awesome, it's huge," DeCastro said when told of the plan for Green to practice next week. "The stories you hear about him and watching him on tape, he's a tremendous athlete. Anytime you get another weapon like that, someone else for Ben to get the ball to, it's only going to help us out."

Said Roethlisberger, "He's a weapon, a vertical threat, a guy who can help stretch the field, create safety issues, open things up for other guys. So I think there's a lot of possibilities."

That was the plan when the Steelers signed Green in March to a four-year, $20 million contract. The signing came after tight end Heath Miller retired.

But Green opened training camp on the PUP list and has stayed there ever since, unable to practice by NFL rules. Coach Mike Tomlin has said he went on the PUP list because of his ankle, which was surgically repaired in January. The Post-Gazette and other media reported that Green had issues with headaches as well and that he was in concussion protocol.

Green declined to talk about any issues with headaches, but he did say his ankle is fine and he is ready to go.

"Definitely, I've been sitting around too long. Everything is going really good."

NFL rules outline that players on the PUP list at the start of the season must wait until after the sixth week in order to practice. A team then has 21 days to determine whether it wants to add the player to the 53-man roster or keep him on the PUP list for the rest of the season. They can add him to the roster at any time before the 21 days is up. …

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