New report suggests the Steelers are preparing to be without starting defender in 2024

When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed LB Patrick Queen to the largest free agent deal in franchise history, it wasn’t a great sign for LB Cole Holcomb’s availability.

When they drafted LB Payton Wilson in the third round, it only made that projection more grim.

And according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Steelers are planning to be without Holcomb:

The latest on Cole Holcomb

No, the Steelers have not provided any kind of a timeline for Holcomb’s return. Based on their moves in free agency and the draft, I am betting they are not counting on much of a contribution from Holcomb this season, if at all. They signed Patrick Queen to the richest free agent deal in franchise history and selected Payton Wilson in the third round of the draft. Plus, Elandon Roberts is back for another season. -Ray Fittipaldo, PPG

When Holcomb suffered the knee injury on Thursday Night Football against the Titans, there was a sense that the injury was more significant than a typical ligament injury.

That was confirmed by Brooke Pryor of ESPN who said Holcomb’s injury is atypical in regards to significant season-enders. “My understanding is that it’s not just a simple ACL tear and they’re [Steelers] being very vague on what the specific injury is,” Pryor told the Adam Gold Show.

At this point, if Holcomb is able to suit up in 2024 it would be a win. We saw some videos of him working out this offseason but GM Omar Khan and HC Mike Tomlin have yet to provide a clear picture of what Holcomb is dealing with or a timetable on his return.

Holcomb was a revelation in the LB room through the first eight weeks of the season, leading the team in tackles, calling the defensive signals, and making plays on the ball from coverage alignments. So while we need to wait and see exactly what Holcomb is dealing with, the quicker he can return, the more Pittsburgh will benefit.

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