Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool sustained a shoulder injury, and tight end Pat Freiermuth is dealing with a hamstring injury, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. Both injuries were reported after the training camp on Friday, July 29, and head coach Mike Tomlin spoke with the media.
Claypool is heading into the season as the WR2 for the Steelers offense. With JuJu Smith-Schuster departing in free agency, Mapletron is expected to pick up a heavier workload in his third year. He was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and has played in 31 games so far. Claypool was combined for 121 receptions for 1,733 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns over his first two seasons. His injury isn’t expected to be serious, but if he does happen to miss any time, rookie wide receiver George Pickens would likely be the biggest beneficiary.
Of the two injuries, Freiermuth’s is a little more concerning. There are grades to hamstring injuries, and if he is just banged up, it isn’t anything to worry about. It could affect the upcoming season if he has a slight injury and tries to come back too quickly. Freiermuth was drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Penn State. In his rookie season, ‘Muth played in 16 games and caught 60 of his 49 targets for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. If he misses any time, it would be Zach Gentry that would be expected to be the starting tight end.
With veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retiring in the offseason, we are seeing a new era of Steelers football. With some combination of Mason Rudolph, Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett under center, both Claypool and Freiermuth are expected to have important roles in this offense. If either of them miss significant time, it would likely result in the Steelers performing well below expectations.