Green Denies Concussion Rumours, Still Rehabbing Ankle

By Jonathon Natsis
Green, Steelers

Desperate for some added offensive firepower to start the season, Steelers fans have grown increasingly weary of seeing freshly signed tight end Ladarius Green sidelined during training camp and preseason.

Somewhere down the line, those frustrations manifested themselves into rumours that Green had yet to practice because he was suffering from recurring headaches caused by concussions sustained during his time with San Diego.

Green addressed those concerns on Saturday. “I don’t know what those reports are,” he told local media. “I heard about it, but I didn’t look at it. I’m still on [the Physically Unable to Perform list] because of my ankle.”

The typically stingy Steelers signed Green to a four-year, $20 million deal in free agency, considered by many to be a bargain considering Green’s youth and ability to spread the field as a matchup nightmare. Though Pittsburgh was reportedly aware of Green’s nagging ankle injury when it signed him, reports of his concussion symptoms appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

“I’m wondering who said this,” Green added. “I’m only 26, so I don’t think I’m going to retire anytime soon,” he said of claims that he would quit the sport entirely over his apparently fabricated illness. According to a tweet by Steelers writer Chris Bradford, Green replied, “Of course I will. Why wouldn’t I?” when asked if he would take the field in 2016.

The preseason is a time for playing it safe, no matter the severity of an injury. That down time often allows for people on the outside to start wildly speculating about what’s really keeping a player on the sidelines, when oftentimes it’s a matter of not wanting to aggravate a meagre impairment.

When healthy, Green is expected to be the starting TE for a Steelers offense still reeling from the surprise retirement of stalwart Heath Miller. The offense’s depth has looked decidedly bleak without healthy scratches Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams in two weeks of preseason action. All going well, the fantastic five will all be fit to play once the games start to count.