In a late January tweet, Coates wrote that he’d just gotten out of surgery and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reported that the operation was done to repair “fractures and tendon damage” to fingers on his left hand. Coates’ injured fingers led to frequent appearances on the injury report and caused him trouble on the field, but Fowler now says that report was incorrect.
Per Fowler, Coates has only had the sports hernia surgery he was discussing on Monday. That injury was never noted on the league’s injury report, which was reportedly due to the team’s feeling that it wasn’t limiting him at practice at any point in the year.
It’s not the first injury that the Steelers failed to list on their injury report only to have it come to light after the end of the season. Running back Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury wasn’t listed leading into the AFC Championship Game, which led to a league investigation after he left that game and said the injury had been bothering him for some time.
No results of that investigation have been announced and it’s not clear if the inconsistency with Coates will also merit a look, although the league may choose to pass on any substantive punishment anyway.