You’d have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the countless injuries the Pittsburgh Steelers have sustained this season, and Week 12 was no exception. Several more players went down in the slugfest vs the Cleveland Browns, resulting in a mind-boggling shift of players on the active roster and practice squad. Check it out:
- RT Marcus Gilbert, hoping to return from an ankle injury, suffered a setback and was placed on IR.
- Rookie T Mike Adams, the 2012 2nd round draft pick who has been filling in for Gilbert, suffered an ankle injury and will reportedly miss “significant time”.
- Rookie Kelvin Beachum will likely start in place of Adams, whom he relieved during the Browns game. It will be his first NFL start.
- 2012 1st round draft pick RG David DeCastro, who sustained a knee injury during preseason, was activated from the “IR with designation to return” list. It is unclear if he will start, as Ramon Foster has played well in his absence.
- LG Willie Colon has been sidelined with a swollen knee and may sit this week again…rumor has it that if Colon can’t play, ProBowl center Maurkice Pouncey may slide into the guard position, leaving backup Doug Legursky to fill in at center.
- Rookie G John Malecki continues to bounce between practice squad and active roster. This week, he’ll again be on the list of 53.
- WR Antonio Brown practiced well this week and is expected to make his return against the Ravens. This is good news indeed.
- With Brown returning, rookie WR David Gilreath was released to make room on the roster. The Steelers would likely have signed Gilreath back to the practice squad, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed him off waivers.
- Other rookies that were released were lost to other teams as well: WR Toney Clemons was signed by the Jaguars and G Ryan Lee was signed by the Saints.
- To fill out the practice squad, T Joe Long (brother of Dolphins 1st round pick Jake Long), G Justin Cheadle (no relation to the actor Don Cheadle), and WR Bert Reed (not in any way connected to paper towel dispenser killer K Jeff Reed) were all added.
- RB Jonathan Dwyer will get the start over Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall, who sits at #3 on the depth chart after fumbling twice on 4 carries against the Browns as part of the turnover marathon. I guess Dwyer’s fumble was the least offensive?
- WR Mike Wallace got a mini-demotion and now shares the starting position with Emmanuel Sanders opposite Antonio Brown. Sanders has performed well in AB’s absence.
- LaMarr Woodley will sit out with an ankle injury, and Jason Worilds will again start opposite James Harrison. Both Worilds and Harrison have been performing well recently.
- QB Ben Roethlisberger if officially out vs the Ravens, and Charlie Batch will again get the start. Byron Leftwich continues to recover from rib fractures.
- WR Jerricho Cotchery is also trying to return to the field from his rib injury, but don’t expect him to play this week. Plaxico Burress will fill his spot.
- After playing a mere 1.25 games this year, safety Troy Polamalu may finally make his return this week. The #1-ranked defense has been playing so well the past few weeks, I think a lot of fans have stopped missing him.
- Safety Ryan Clark has managed to avoid even minor concussions since he started wearing his new, big (unfashionable in his opinion), kevlar reinforced helmet. Looking good, Ryan.
I don’t know about you, but all this roster movement makes my head spin…I need to rest up for the big game Sunday. Steelers vs Ravens is always huge, and never more so than this week. Ravens will essentially clinch the division with a win. If the Steelers can pull off the upset, who knows?