After the Steelers lost the wild card game to the Baltimore Ravens, Steelers safety Mike Mitchell told reporters that he had been playing with a groin tear.
Steelers S Mike Mitchell played all season w/ a torn groin. Surgery this week. Would knowing that stop bust label? Said: "Nobody cares."
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 4, 2015
Mitchell started training camp on the PUP list due to a groin injury he reportedly suffered during offseason training. This might explain some of Mitchell’s shortcomings on the field this year. Not the boneheaded penalties or obvious mental errors, but perhaps he took a bad angle or two that was a direct result of being hampered by a groin injury.
Earlier this week, Mitchell said he wasn’t trying to use it as an excuse. “It would be like having the brakes on your car not be right,” Mitchell said via ESPN. “I’m not making excuses, I’m not apologizing for anything. One thing we don’t do here in Pittsburgh is we don’t seek comfort. Everyone plays hurt.” He added, “I hate that this is even a story…we all play hurt. Everyone on the team has injuries so I’m no different than any other player.”
When asked about Mitchell’s groin yesterday during his press conference, Coach Tomlin took a stern tone. “I’m not into the excuse making,” said Tomlin. Adding, “I’m not gonna speculate on how it might have effected his performance.”
Earlier in the press conference, Tomlin listed Mitchell as one of the players who are on the short list for requiring off season surgery. Mitchell played 977 snaps for the Steelers defense this year, just 20 behind Worilds and Timmons, and was 3rd in regular season tackles with 57.