Prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams, the team will need to activate running back Le’Veon Bell to the 53 man roster from the Reserve/Suspended list and that move will require them to release a player to make room for him. When you look at the Steelers current 53 man roster, it’s not hard to speculate which players are candidates to be released to make room for Bell.
Offensively, fullback Roosevelt Nix has to be considered a candidate as he only sees a very limited playing time on offense due to him being a fullback. However, being as he appears to be a solid special teams player, you can make an argument that he could possibly stick around past Week 2. Additionally, if the Steelers feel like rookie tight end Jesse James is still several weeks away from being able to contribute as a third tight end, they’ll need Nix to stick around so that Will Johnson can continue playing dual roles.
New defensive end Caushaud Lyons could also be a candidate to be waived to make room for Bell in the coming weeks. After all, Lyons was inactive in Week 1 and being as the team normally only likes to carry six defensive linemen in total, his spot on the 53 man roster is far from secure on a week-to-week basis.
Should Nix and Lyons ultimately be kept, running back Dri Archer would appear to be the next player currently on the roster with the greatest chance of being released. Archer only played three snaps Thursday night against the Patriots and all three came during the Steelers final offensive possession.
While Archer did serve as the Steelers kickoff returner Thursday night, he only returned one kickoff for 22 yards during the game as the other four Patriot kicks were booted out of the end zone for touchbacks. Being as a lot of teams will likely be taking the same course of action on kickoffs in the coming weeks against the Steelers, Archer’s value as a returner/special teams contributor figures to be minimal at best.
It’s also important to remember that the Steelers signed running back Jordan Todman just prior to their regular-season opener and addition to him being a more accomplished all-around running back than Archer currently is, he also has a solid resume when it comes to returning kickoffs. Todman also can cover kicks, which is something Archer doesn’t do. In other words, Archer’s overall value to the team right now is pretty low and it might be even lower after Week 2.
Should Archer ultimately stick around on the roster after next Sunday’s game, however, he will definitely be a candidate to be inactive on a weekly basis moving forward and especially if Todman dresses for games as it appears as though his spot on the roster is very safe.