Steelers third-year receiver Sammie Coates will have to wait a bit longer to get the bitter taste of the 2016 season out of his mouth.
According to an unnamed source cited by ESPN, Coates will miss the start of training camp after having surgery to repair a knee injury he sustained while working out in the offseason.
Over the first five weeks of 2016, Coates looked more than capable of filling the very large shoes of receiver Martavis Bryant, who was suspended for the entire season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
But after accumulating 421 receiving yards over the first five games–including several deep receptions–Coates suffered a fractured finger and hand laceration in a Week 5 victory over the Jets at Heinz Field.
Soon, a groin injury reared its ugly head.
Coates was a virtual non-factor the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs, as he ended the year with just 435 yards on 21 receptions.
As per Jeremy Fowler, a Steelers beat writer who covers the team for ESPN.com, Coates could start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but may be back as soon as the middle of August.
While it doesn’t sound like a major injury, it hasto be a frustrating setback for Coates, who, in addition to having to compete with Antonio Brown and the newly-reinstated Bryant for passes from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, will also have to contend with young slot receiver Eli Rogers and second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster for playing time.