Shoulder injury sidelines Martavis Bryant

PITTSBURGH -- Wide receiver Martavis Bryant might be looking at the equivalent of a redshirt in his first NFL season.

Bryant left the Steelers’ final preseason game early Thursday night with an A/C sprain in his shoulder, and the injury is expected to sideline the fourth-round pick for an extended period.

Depending on the severity of the injury, which is a separated shoulder, the Steelers could place Bryant on the short-term injured reserve list after he makes the 53-man roster.

If the Steelers use that designation on Bryant he would be allowed to resume practicing with the team after the sixth week of the regular season. The 6-4, 211-pounder wouldn’t be eligible to play until after the eighth week of the season.

If Bryant goes on short-term IR he likely won’t contribute much this season. His injury makes it likely that the Steelers will keep six wide receivers when putting together their 53-man roster, a process that must be completed by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Coach Mike Tomlin said after the Steelers’ 10-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers that two other rookies, cornerback Shaquille Richardson and linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, are possibilities for short-term IR, which teams are allowed to use once per season.

Richardson, a fifth-round pick, has been out with a knee injury while Zumwalt has been sidelined by a groin injury. Neither, Tomlin said, were close to playing in the Steelers’ final preseason game.

The Steelers received some good news on the injury front earlier this week.

Long snapper Greg Warren told 970 ESPN that he will be a “full go” when the Steelers return to practice on Monday and that he will be able to play in the Sept. 7 season opener against the visiting Browns.

Warren, who has been recovering from surgery that fixed a meniscus tear in his knee, said he practiced on Wednesday.

Tomlin said he is pleased with how the Steelers made it through training camp and the preseason from an injury standpoint.

The Steelers did not suffer any major injuries to core players. Bryant and reserve cornerback Brice McCain (groin) were the only players who sustained injuries of note in the loss to the Panthers.

“It’s not something that we have control over so I don’t spend a lot of time fretting over that,” Tomlin said of injuries. “But it is a blessing when they’re minimal and not a lot of significant ones so we’ll take that.”