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Chase Claypool returns to practice on Thursday of Week 14, on track to play

We break down the news that Chase Claypool is dealing with a toe injury on a short week.

Chase Claypool #11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 05, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Tuesday update: The Steelers returned to practice and Claypool joined them, per Dale Lolley. He was listed as a full participant, which suggests he will be fine for Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football to open Week 14 and wide receiver Chase Claypool is off to a slow start in preparation. Claypool sat out Monday’s practice with a toe injury.

It’s important to note that the Monday practice for Thursday Night Football teams is almost always a walkthrough. The teams are usually just coming out of a Sunday game and at least two and usually all three practices are either walkthroughs or very light.

Even with that caveat, Claypool’s toe is a concern. Last week, he was limited on Wednesday and then a full participant on Thursday and Friday. In Week 12, Claypool played 61 snaps, which was good for 98% of the team’s offensive workload. In Week 13, he played 38 snaps or 63% of the workload. That would seem to suggest there is a bigger issue this week than last week.

Fantasy football implications

If Claypool can’t play, James Washington and Ray-Ray McLoud stand to benefit in playing time and targets. If Claypool can go, this is an enticing matchup. Even if he is slowed by the toe injury, the Vikings give up the second most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Keep an eye on his practice status the next two days.