With running back LeGarrette Blount now gone following his Tuesday waiving for conduct detrimental to the team, the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to decide over the course of the next few weeks who will backup starter Le’Veon Bell.
If the Steelers choose not to replace Blount with practice squad running back Josh Harris, they might should consider kicking the tires on former running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, who is now well more than a year removed from the knee injury that he suffered last year in the season opener.
LaRod Stephens-Howling also still available. Worked out with Denver in October. #Steelers
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 18, 2014
If Stephens-Howling is indeed back to full heath, he might could function as a kick returner in addition to backing up Bell.
The Steelers could decide to let rookie Dri Archer back up Bell initially, but the third-round draft pick has yet to really show much in his limited playing time this year. If Bell were to go down injured, would you really want to see Archer carry the load? I know that I wouldn’t.
What would I do?
For starters, I would go ahead and promote Harris from the practice squad immediately. I would then go about the process of kicking the tires on Stephens-Howling along with a few other street free agents to see if any are worth signing. If they need a roster spot for another running back, they can always waive wide receiver Justin Brown.
The timing of Blount’s release winds up being perfect as the team now has a few weeks to figure out who will serve as Bell’s backup moving forward thanks to the bye week.