Steelers Rookie LB Has Interesting Medical Concern

The Pittsburgh Steelers third-round pick has some unique headlines surrounding him.
Nov 11, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack linebacker Payton
Nov 11, 2023; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack linebacker Payton / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers added their first defensive player of the 2024 NFL Draft in linebacker Payton Wilson. The N.C. State product comes to the league with two years of injury-free football, but there's one medical concern that he'll bring to the field in Pittsburgh.

Wilson suffered two torn ACL injuries during his time in college. Now, heading into the NFL, he has no ACL in one of the knees, according to the NFL Network broadcast during the NFL Draft.

"First off, he has a multitude of injuries," Rapoport explained as to why Wilson fell. "First, there's a left shoulder injury that was operated on. It was not a great operation. That certainly is a lingering injury. But that's actually not the worst of it. He has torn his ACL twice, and my understanding, after talking to several sources, is that one of his knees does not have an ACL. It does not have an ACL."

Wilson won't be the first Pittsburgh athlete to play without an ACL, and he won't be the first in the Steelers locker room, either. Former Steelers Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward didn't have an ACL in one of his knees, and Pitt basketball star Dejuan Blair played his entire professional career without an ACL.

Wilson's injury concerns don't bother the Steelers as the rookie finished his career with over 400 tackles, 48 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and seven interceptions. In his rookie season, he'll be given an opportunity to earn playing time with Patrick Queen, Elandon Roberts and Mark Robinson, but should be viewed as one of the team's top weapons on special teams.

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Noah Strackbein


Noah is the Publisher for All Steelers, Inside the Panthers ( and Inside the Penguins (, and is the host of All Steelers Talk ( A Scranton native, Noah made his way to the Pittsburgh sports scene in 2017. Now, he's pretty much full-yinzer.