At the conclusion of Wednesdays practice, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made it sound like the lower leg injury that safety Robert Golden suffered during the session might be a serious one. In fact, he termed it a significant one and now we’ll wait for the team to further evaluate his condition.
At the very least, Golden will likely be sidelined for quite a while and that will ultimately give several of the other young safeties currently on the team’s roster a chance to make the team out of training camp.
Being as Golden is primarily known for his contributions on special teams, one would think the player who ultimately replaces him will be strong it that area as well. Assuming he can return soon from his leg injury, Ross Ventrone might should be considered the odds on favorite to challenge for Golden’s roster spot. Like Golden, Ventrone can play on several of the Steelers special teams units and he’s quite good at covering both punts and kickoffs.
Behind Ventrone sit rookie draft pick Gerod Holliman, Ian Wild, Isaiah Lewis and Alden Darby. All four of those players have zero NFL experience, however, and that’s concerning. The team might also consider re-signing Jordan Dangerfield, who was waived from the roster right before the team reported to training camp.
Fortunately for the Steelers, veteran Will Allen can backup starters Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas this year. However, that’s where the legitimate depth at the safety position ends as of right now should Golden indeed wind up being lost for the season.
Should the Steelers need to look at available free agent safeties with experience, veterans Thomas DeCoud and Quintin Demps might be enticing as long as they are willing to play for the veteran minimum. Both, however, are already 30 years old and are probably better served waiting for a better opportunity to arise prior to the start of the regular season.