With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp for the 2015 season now in swing, it’s time to get down to the business of football. The time for “football in shorts” or “football-like” events is over as teams all around the league embark on their own personal journey for the upcoming season.
Although for just about every team the time leading up to the regular season and reflect a period of optimism, it’s also a period of great uncertainty, which means that there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we know who or what a team truly is. It’s a process that can last well into the regular season.
Much has been made of the injury to Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham, suffered during the opening preseason game against the Vikings. And rightfully so, as he has proven to be a valuable asset to the team that is not easily replaced. It was revealed yesterday that he suffered an ACL tear in his knee and will miss the entire season.
But Suisham was not the only player for the Steelers who left the game with a knee injury classified as potentially serious in the immediate aftermath. Rookie undrafted running back Cameron Stingily was bent backwards in an awkward manner on a rushing attempt and left the game.
His status has not yet been updated, but head coach Mike Tomlin felt after the game that it could potentially be serious. Should that be the case, it would be hard to imagine that the Steelers would not bring in another running back to finish out the preseason.
Including Stingily, the Steelers have six running backs currently on the roster, a number that includes Dri Archer. Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams are veterans that you do not want to abuse with too many meaningless reps.
Josh Harris should return soon from injury, but he is another player that you don’t want to put through the ringer during the preseason. He will likely be on the 53-man roster to start the season due to Bell’s two-game suspension, so he needs to be kept healthy.
The Steelers already replaced one running back when Ross Scheuerman was injured. He was waived injured and the team added Jawon Chisholm, who, like Stingily, was a rookie minicamp tryout invite. Stingily got the contract, but Chisholm ultimately made it here as well.
Pittsburgh still has four preseason games left to play, and that is a lot of carries that must be piled up by somebody. Normally the job falls to more than one back, rather than just repeatedly abusing one player, which in this case would figure to be Chisholm.
While the rookie back would surely welcome the opportunity to showcase himself, not just for the Steelers but for the other 31 teams around the league, the question remains. Should Stingily’s injury prove serious enough for him to miss a couple of weeks or so, will the team elect to cut ties with another rookie running back and replace him with another?