The Steelers week of practice leading up to the first preseason game has begun. The Steelers were on the practice field again yesterday. They’ll open the exhibition season Friday night at home with the Detroit Lions. Mike Tomlin spoke after practice on Sunday, “it was one of those hump-days for us, mark your calendar. short yard and goal-line was the feature of the work today. Defense won one set. Offense won one another.”

The Hall of Fame game in Canton was canceled because of field conditions. Fans were already packed into the stadium seats to see the Colts take on the Packers, when the decision was made. The Pro Football HOF President David Baker took the field with the players and told fans that the game was being canceled for player safety, “I can tell ya, I’ve had a son that played in this league. If it had happened with him on the field, I would have wanted someone to make the same decision.”

We now have an official injury update on Steelers 2nd-year cornerback Senquez Golson. Mike Tomlin talked to us after practice, “he has a lisfranc injury he’s being evaluated…and there’s potentially going to be surgery….disappointing for him but that is as much a part of football as blocking and tackling…we’ll be close to him and encourage him in spite of the circumstance…and help him get through it…and make the necessary adjustments associated with that.”

Rookie Sean Davis, this year’s 2nd round pick, says he’ll be ready to step in for the injured Senquez Golson. Davis is listed as a safety, although he played corner at Maryland. He replaced Golson after the Monday practice injury, “It’s next man up, they expect everyone to be able to play…first, second or third team, so you know my number was called I was pretty sure I was ready to go, and did my job…still learning different techniques and things like that…but I’m getting there, I’m playing my ball, so you know give me some practices and I’ll be ready.”

Heavy is the head that wears the crown! That’s exactly the case with high school powerhouse, the Clairton Bears. Here’s an incredible stat: The Bears have won eight out of the last ten WPIAL Single-A titles. Over that time, Clairton has also won a handful of state titles, but with winning comes pressure. Head coach Wayne Wade knows all about that, “the bar’s at the top…with the 66-game winning streak that we had, the four state titles in a row, you know every year is like a state championship team expectation, and you know it’s state championship or bust.”

The Pirates run-up to the All-Star break was very impressive. Since the middle of June, the Bucs have been on a tear, and that’s kept them close, especially in the wild card race. Jordy Mercer says it will serve them well in the sprint to postseason, “all it’s done is give us some experience, and especially for the playoffs the playoffs late push…we were there for the grind the last few years, and it came down to a few games towards the end the last few years, and all it’s gonna do is get us more prepared and a little more experienced, and we know what it takes.”

Still no comment from the Steelers, the NFL, or Le’Veon Bell’s agent about Bell’s reported looming suspension for another alleged violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Bell is reported to have missed several drug tests, but today on instagram, Bell reassured fans that he won’t miss any games this season. Bell responded to an altered Instagram photo referencing his previous marijuana use, saying, “I’m gonna win the appeal. People have no idea what happened, but don’t worry, let them hate.” In another Instagram response, Bell said, “I’m not gonna miss games, trust me.”

Memorial Day, we like to joke, is the beginning of the end of summer, and this year, the Penguins Stanley Cup run and the US Open lasted more than three weeks past Memorial Day. That means a short summer was made even shorter. Now it’s time for training camp, which has to signal the ‘end of the end’ of summer. I know, Labor Day’s still more than five weeks away, but football season is almost officially here. So get to bed. Before you know it, you’ll be getting up for school.

What a story coming out of Chicago. Chris Sale, cut up the throwback jersey that he didn’t want to wear on Saturday night. It was the 1976 White Sox throwback. Sale said they were uncomfortable, and accused the team of putting public relations ahead of winning. His manager, Robin Ventura, questions the decision, “From being a player, everybody wears a uniform they don’t necessarily like or, but you wear it. If you want to rip it up after, you can rip it up after.”

The Steelers said goodbye to another veteran tight end on Thursday. Matt Spaeth was released with a designation of a Failed Physical. The team said Spaeth never fully recovered from a knee injury.

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