All of the experts will tell you that running back Carey Davis is a safe bet to make the 53 man roster. But just how safe is that bet? Without a doubt, Davis is a special team warrior, but with the rise of rookie free agent running back, Isaac Redman as a short yardage specialist and the move of 5th round pick, Frank Summers, to fullback, it makes you wonder. Both Redman and Summers are getting work on special teams and Redman may be the Steelers answer to their short yardage woes as well. Summers is not afraid to hit and is doing everything the team has asked in order to make the squad and could serve as the ultimate H-Back in the offense with some work as he caught 36 passes at UNLV. The Steelers would like the luxury of signing either Redman or Summers to the practice squad, but at this point it looks like neither would clear waivers. Davis however is on a one year deal after signing a one year tender back in March. He will be a restricted free agent in 2010.
The next two pre-season games will be huge for both Redman and Summers. Both will be used in a variety of situations to test their versatility and conditioning. The Steelers know what they have in Davis, so a stumble by either rookie will ensure Davis makes the 53 man roster.
Another outside option would be that the Steelers would carry 6 running backs on the 53 man roster and let it work itself out early in the season to trim back to 5. By doing so, the Steelers would likely have to release Matt Spaeth or Sean McHugh, which at this point does not seem likely. The only other position to go thin on would be the linebacker spot, but once again, who do you release?
To sum things up, I am not saying Davis gets cut, but to say he is a safe bet to make the final 53 man roster at this point is false. It is likely a three horse race for two spots and Redman and Summers are charging from the outside after turn number one. Stay tuned for a photo finish.