How does the cliché go? NFL stands for “Not for Long.” Rookie Javon Hargrave might be in the painful process of proving just how true that is.
While little information is available, the headline “Javon Hargrave injures knee, leaves Steelers practice early,” offers window into cruel ironies that rule daily life in the NFL, because Javon Hargrave suffered his injury just hours after Mike Tomlin named him as the Steelers starting nose tackle for the Monday night season opener at FedEx Field against the Washington Redskins.
The Steelers drafted Javon Hargrave in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, in a move that made normally reticent defensive line coach John Mitchell gush. Our own Tony Defeo predicted that Hargrave would be a hit with Steelers Nation.
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly offered this account of Javon Hargrave’s injury:
I witnessed Javon Hargrave's knee injury. Didn't look promising, but who knows? It could be nothing and back on Wed. Have to wait and see
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) September 5, 2016
Daniel McCullers provided an update to Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times:
McCuller says Hargrave "Felt a little tweak … Hopefully its nothiing serious and he'll back soon." #Steelers
— Chris Bradford (@PghBradford) September 5, 2016
The Steelers have not provided an update on the Javon Hargrave’s status, and any real news must likely wait for Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference.
Should Hargave be unable to play, Daniel McCullers will likely step into the starting role, with Ricardo Mathews working in as needed. Steelers starter Cameron Heyward is already nursing a high ACL sprain and his status is not known for the Redskins game.
Thus far, Stephon Tuitt and L.T. Walton appear to be just fine. Which is welcome news to Steelers Nation, because the headline “Javon Hargrave injures knee…” provides enough drama the first Steelers practice of the 2016 regular season.