When the Pittsburgh Steelers return to the practice fields of Saint Vincent College on Wednesday, they’ll still likely be without the services of tackle Mike Adams, who remains on the team’s Active PUP list with a back problem. By the sound of things, we probably shouldn’t expect Adams to play in the next two preseason games, either.
Adams had his back surgery performed on July 20 and head coach Mike Tomlin said at the start of training camp that the Ohio State product would be out “around four weeks.” Saturday will mark four weeks since Tomlin made those comments.
Assuming that Adams could quite possibly not be ready for the start of the 2015 regular season, the Steelers will have a big decision to make come time for them to make their final set of roster moves.
The first option would be to remove Adams from the Active PUP list and place him on their final 53 man roster. That would afford the tackle the opportunity to practice with the team once he is cleared by the doctors without missing any league-mandated games. The only way the Steelers will go that route, however, is if Adams is close to being ready.
The second option the Steelers will have with Adams would be to place him on the Reserve/PUP list. Doing that, however, would result in him missing at least the first six weeks of the regular season. On the plus side, it would free up a spot on the final 53 man roster which could be filled in various ways.
At this point, you’d have to think that tackle Alejandro Villanueva is a lock to make the final 53 regardless of what happens with Adams. Additionally, there’s still a chance Adams makes it back in time to play in at least one preseason game.
According to Alex Kozora, Adams still isn’t doing anything on the side during practices and thus one would think he will need to go through at least a week of that with the team trainers before being removed from the Active PUP list during the preseason.
The Steelers only have three practices remaining before they break camp and hopefully by the end of the week, Tomlin updates Adams’ condition along with a possible timeline for his eventual return. We’ll see.