By Josh Katzowitz
Early Friday morning, Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson was burned badly in a house fire, and he had to be airlifted from his home in Seven Fields to Pittsburgh.
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Wilson was burned over 30 to 50 percent of his body, and though his injuries are considered serious, they’re not life-threatening.
"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with Kirby and his entire family,” Steelers president Art Rooney said in a statement released Friday. "We are saddened to hear about his unfortunate situation but we know that he has the best medical care in the country treating him. The entire organization is praying for Kirby to have a full recovery and we will be by his side through this difficult time."
The team was told about the fire at Wilson’s townhouse at a meeting Friday morning. The blaze began about 3 a.m. Friday morning. Nobody else was in Wilson’s house.
"He's such a hard-working coach," said Isaac Redman, who’s taken over the No. 1 running back spot since Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL. "He was always the first guy in the building. He was always here. He takes pride in the running backs.
"He's taken me really from a practice squad running back to a running back that's capable of playing in this league. He had a lot to do with my development of being able to recognize defenses and being a complete professional in how I go about my life every day. It's just really sad to see this happen to him."
That was a sentiment echoed throughout the locker room Friday. Normally, Wilson is on the Steelers sidelines for games. It’s assumed offensive assistant Harold Goodwin will take his place for Sunday’s playoff game vs. the Broncos.
"You start to think more about his family more than anything. I think football is second," Hines Ward said. "All the guys' thoughts and prayers are with Kirby and his family. Everyone on this team is thinking more of his family, his health and well being.
"It's just crazy. Just yesterday we were laughing, and next thing you know, he's in the hospital.”
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