Steelers DE Heyward optimistic about hamstring injury

Defensive end Cam Heyward missed the Dolphins game with a hamstring injury. It was the first time he missed a game in high school, college or his six-year professional career. Whether he misses a second consecutive game won’t be known until later in the week, but Heyward indicated he is healing well.

“I’m optimistic about it, but we won’t know until the end of the week,” Heyward said Monday. “It’s not like we play today. If we played today, I wouldn’t play. I’m going to do whatever I can to get back to 100 percent. In the meantime, guys have to work and guys have to get ready.”

Heyward said he didn’t know if he’d practice Wednesday, but he said he’ll be back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex today, the players’ off day, to continue his rehab.

“We’ll take it day by day,” he said. “I can’t predict what’s going to happen. I’ll be in here working. All I can do is prepare myself to be ready. But I can’t injure myself anymore because if I do that, I’ll set it back even more. I have to be smart about this. I can’t rush this.”

Green set to practice Wednesday

Tight end Ladarius Green is scheduled to practice with the team this week, but whether the coaches decide to activate him from the physically unable to perform list for the Patriots game is a question for the coaches, Green said.

“I really don’t know,” he said.

Green was signed to replace retired tight end Heath Miller, but when he takes the practice field Wednesday it will be the first time he does so as a members of the Steelers. When he signed in March, the Steelers knew he wouldn’t be able participate in offseason training activities or minicamp.

Green then opened training camp on the PUP list, and the Post-Gazette reported in early August he remained there due to headaches and not his ankle.

The Steelers don’t have to activate Green from the PUP list this week. They have a 21-day window from the first time he practices to determine whether he’ll be activated.

“I’m still just trying to make the team, really,” Green said. “I’m new to it. The tight ends have been playing well so far. They’ve been doing so great.”

Green said the final hurdle in his rehab was being able to jump off his injured ankle.

“I had problems jumping and getting spring off this ankle, but it’s coming along,” he said.

Mitchell on penalties: ‘It can’t happen’

Safety Mike Mitchell was penalized twice Sunday for unnecessary roughness, once in the first quarter and again in the third quarter. The 15-yard penalty in the first quarter helped the Dolphins set up their first field goal. The second helped set up another field goal, but the Steelers blocked it.

“When I was looking at them I didn’t see too much,” Mitchell said. “My teammates and coaches know I play with my heart. I’m an emotional guy. I never want to hurt this team. It’s unfortunate that it happened. So I have to do a better job. The officials always do their best. They do a good job of explaining things to us, or trying to. It can’t happen.”

Mitchell injured his knee against the Dolphins and returned to the game. He said it was sore Monday, but he anticipated he would be fine for the Patriots game.

“We were down so I wanted to come back and try to help us win,” he said. “I’m no different than anyone else on this team.”

Ray Fittipaldo: and Twitter @rayfitt1.

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