J. Hevesham Nuttmeier

Senquez Golson promises to return early from typically devastating injury

Also, notes on Keenan Lewis, Vince Williams, James Harrison, the injured Steelers AND Napoleon's surgeon.

PITTSBURGH -- The Lisfranc foot injury was named after one of Napoleon's surgeons, who treated the injury by amputating the foot that had usually been stuck in a stirrup following a fall off a horse.

Treatment has improved a couple of hundred years later, but the injury is considered one of the most devastating foot injuries an NFL player can suffer.

That's why it came as a bit of a surprise when Senquez Golson told reporters Tuesday "I'll definitely be back this year."

Golson, of course, underwent Lisfranc surgery on Aug. 8 and said his timetable to return is 10 weeks from that day. That would put his target at Oct. 17.

"For sure by the end of November," Golson said.

That's awfully optimistic for an injury that -- according to an NFL-funded study by the Foot and Ankle Committee -- on average causes "1.3 years of discomfort after initial surgery."

Of course, there are degrees of severity, depending on whether one to five of the mid-foot ligaments is/are torn. Golson didn't discuss details of the injury that occurred when he planted his foot into the St. Vincent College grass field on Aug. 1.

"Once I came down on it, it just kind of buckled," Golson said Tuesday. "It was just a freak accident."

Golson said it took him "probably a couple of days," to clear his head and begin looking forward.

He had missed his entire rookie season the previous year with a shoulder injury.

"You still get your days here and there," he said, "but for the most part I'm doing pretty good."

The injury cost Matt Spaeth 12 games in 2013, a year after Santonio Holmes had missed 12 games with the most severe degree of Lisfranc injury. Holmes was never the same after returning to the New York Jets and he retired following the 2014 season.

Jimmy Smith, a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens, has, on the other hand, returned to his full ability, but it took him 10 months to recover after suffering the injury at the midway point of the 2014 season.

Los Angeles Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines just returned to live action this past weekend after suffering a Lisfranc injury on Aug. 2, 2015.

But Golson is determined that he'll be able to return at mid-season.

"Definitely some time in there," he said.

The Steelers have kept him on their 90-man active roster, and if they intend to designate him for return this season they must keep him on the active roster one day following final cuts.

They Steelers would need to put Golson on Injured Reserve until eight weeks of the season have passed before bringing him back as their one returnee from IR.


Because of the injury to Golson, the Steelers are expected to mine the waiver wire the way they did last year when they found current starter Ross Cockrell.

To that end, the Steelers are kicking the tires of Keenan Lewis, one of their former starters at the position.

The Steelers had better not kick too hard because Lewis has had many physical problems the last year since injuring his hip and undergoing multiple surgical procedures.

He did play six games last season, but also struggled through a variety of other injuries that have caused him to miss training camp this season before being released by the New Orleans Saints.

Lewis, 30, was a Steelers third-round draft pick in 2009 and became a full-time starter in 2012. But, because the Steelers believed Cortez Allen would develop into the starter opposite Ike Taylor, the Steelers let Lewis leave in free agency and he's been with the Saints the last three seasons.

The 6-0, 198-pounder has seven career interceptions.


* The Steelers signed reserve inside linebacker Vince Williams to a three-year contract that will keep him with the team through the 2018 season. The backup at both inside positions has lost 13 pounds this offseason in order to improve his coverage skills, and in two preseason games has shown he hasn't lost his primary asset: physicality at the line of scrimmage.

Williams, 26, was entering the final year of his previous contract. One of the two starters in front of him, Lawrence Timmons, 30, is entering the final year of his contract and has recorded over 100 tackles in four of the last five seasons, including a team-high 119 last season.

James Harrison will meet with the NFL at 11 a.m. Thursday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, according to the Post-Gazette.

* Rookie cornerback Artie Burns and second-year outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who've been rehabbing injuries, aren't expected to play Friday in New Orleans. NT Daniel McCullers, FB Rosie Nix, OT Jerald Hawkins and G-C Cody Wallace are also expected to miss the game with minor injuries.


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