The Pittsburgh Steelers face a division rival in Week 5, squaring off against the 2-2 Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers won their first game this past week, thumping the Cincinnati Bengals, and did it while tight end Vance McDonald was sidelined with a shoulder injury. McDonald injured the shoulder in Week 3 and was in a sling last week.
McDonald did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but he got in a full session on Friday. The Steelers have listed him as questionable on their final injury report.
Fantasy football analysis, Steelers tight end Vance McDonald
The Steelers traded for tight end Nick Vannett in light of McDonald’s injury, which would have suggested potentially a longer absence. McDonald might have made good progress, or that could be a sign he’ll end up a game-day inactive this week.
Vannett caught two passes for 28 yards in his Steelers debut. Vannett was not cutting into Will Dissly’s numbers as the latter emerged in recent weeks, so it might have no impact on a healthy McDonald. That being said, it certainly doesn’t help McDonald in an offense that will struggle under Mason Rudolph.
The Ravens are in the middle of the pack in defending tight ends, so McDonald is a decent start in Week 5, but most of the Steelers offense has questions against anybody not as bad as the Bengals.