Bryant McFadden’s cranky hamstring has kept him from really testing it during a typical practice setting, so the Steelers’ cornerback decided there was only one way to really push the limit – by playing offense.
McFadden lined up as a scout team receiver during practice this week not as a possible position switch, but to get a better sense of how his hamstring is coming along.
“I would do a little defense then go in and try to run some routes and try to let it loose,” McFadden said. “I am trying to get a closer assessment of where I am because it is kind of hard to simulate practice with a real live game.”
McFadden actually caught a couple nice passes while testing out his hamstring.
“It was my idea,” McFadden said. “I haven’t done it in a while but I knew it was an opportunity to run a lot while breaking and stopping. That is something that I may try to continue to do.”
McFadden has been nursing a hamstring pull since the first week of training camp. He was able to return for the opener, but has been out ever since.
McFadden plans on being 100 percent before coming back this time, and he said he is very close to reaching that number.
“I would do things and the next day it would be real sore,” McFadden said. “Today I am not as sore, which is very positive for me. I don’t feel as sore as I do the past few weeks.”
McFadden has yet to show up on the injury report this week, but he won’t play against the Texans on Sunday.
“I think it may be smarter on my end if I probably didn’t not knowing how healthy I am,” McFadden said. “In the Baltimore game, I didn’t get a chance to participate all preseason then played 50-some snaps against Baltimore and tweaking it again.”
William Gay has replaced McFadden on the right side and will continue to do so. When the Steelers play five defensive backs, Gay goes back to the nickel and Keenan Lewis enters the game at corner.
However, McFadden will regain his starting position once deemed 100 percent healthy.
“Unless you heard something that I didn’t,” said McFadden when asked if is still the starter when he returns.
“He is healing and once he gets back, that’s his job,” Gay said. “You don’t lose your job to injuries.”
By Mark Kaboly