Mitchell, the Steelers’ most significant signing this offseason, and running back Alvester Alexander have been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Alexander, who spent last season on the Steelers’ practice squad, is also nursing an injured groin.
Both can come off the PUP list at any time, and coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers expect Mitchell to be sidelined for the first week of training camp.
“We’ll monitor him day to day,” Tomlin said late Friday afternoon.
Two Steelers players did not report to camp by the 4 p.m. ET deadline and each was excused by the team. Punter Adam Podlesh is staying with his wife until she gives birth to their child, and starting left guard Ramon Foster is coping with the death of his mother.
Tomlin did not give a timetable for the return of either player.
Tomlin addressed the media after the Steelers’ conditioning test, and he seemed pleased with his first look at the players since the end of offseason practices.
“I like the look in the eye of the group,” the eighth-year coach said, “and the way that they performed at the run test was impressive.”
Also of note from Tomlin’s first news conference of training camp.
Tomlin plans on running a physical camp after watching the players take part in non-contact practices during the offseason.
“I enjoyed the spring and summer, but that’s the spring and summer. Now that we’re here in training camp we’re going to do what we do in this type of setting, which is compete,” Tomlin said.
When asked if there will be tackling, Tomlin smiled.
“Absolutely,” he said. “See you on Monday.”
Monday is the first that that the Steelers are allowed to practice in full pads and hits. The team will conduct non-contract practices on Saturday and Sunday, something that is mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.
Tomlin said he won’t take a slower approach to installing the playbook despite the Steelers’ youth, particularly on defense.
“We expect those guys to catch up. It’s professional football, they don’t have an academic workload to worry about,” Tomlin said. “Obviously we’re willing to adjust when it’s time to play football in September. It’s just smart football to do what your guys are capable of doing, but as we step into Latrobe we do not have that mentality. We need to see what they’re capable of handling. And in order to so that we’re going to install at our normal pace.”
Center Maurkice Pouncey won’t be eased into practice even though he is still less than a year removed from tearing the ACL in his right knee.
The Steelers gave Pouncey periodic days off during the offseason practices as a precaution, but Tomlin said the three-time Pro Bowler won’t be limited in camp.
“He’s ready to go,” Tomlin said.