Pittsburgh Steelers rookie WR Markus Wheaton broke his pinky in Week 4, and he has been unable to play since. Wheaton had to have surgery on his pinky just a few days after sustaining the injury, and he is going to miss a third straight game with the injury. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reports that Wheaton has been ruled out for this week’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders, and Steelers fans will be hoping he can play in Week 9 against the New England Patriots. The Steelers will need all hands on deck for that game, and Wheaton would end up missing a total of five weeks if he missed that game, too (he also had a bye week to rest).
Wheaton and Terrence Williams are the best two deep threats among the rookie wide receivers, and Williams has been able to showcase his speed this season (some of that thanks goes to Miles Austin’s hamstring injury he suffered in late September). However, Wheaton has only played in four games this season and only received significant playing time once.
All we can hope for at this point is for Wheaton to return fully healthy in Week 9, and it’s been a rough rookie year for the wide receiver out of Oregon State thanks to the broken pinky. Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to click, so it would be nice for Wheaton to be a part of that. His ability to make big plays would definitely be welcome, and he would be an upgrade as the No. 3 WR behind Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.