While there’s still a few days of practice left for the Pittsburgh Steelers before they play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Heinz Field, it’s currently looking like veteran safety Will Allen won’t be able to play due to the left ankle injury that he suffered Monday night against the San Diego Chargers.
Should Allen indeed wind up being ruled out on Friday, the Steelers will only have three safeties available to them on Sunday due to them releasing Ross Ventrone a few days ago. While they could choose to go with only three safeties, it sure would be a risky thing to do.
So, is a Saturday roster move forthcoming? We’ll see.
If a move is made on Saturday, it figures to be the promotion of Jordan Dangerfield from the practice squad as not only can he play safety in an emergency situation, he’s also a competent core special teams player. Remember, Allen and Ventrone both played a lot on special teams during the first five weeks of the season, so a replacement will be needed.
If Dangerfield is promoted, however, the Steelers will need to make a corresponding move by releasing or waiving a player currently on their 53-man roster. The candidates to be released if such a move is needed are few.
At this point, I would venture to guess that fullback Roosevelt Nix and linebacker Anthony Chickillo are safe even though the latter is likely to be inactive on Sunday. Additionally, I think we can consider running back Dri Archer as being safe. Tight end Jesse James figures to be safe as well, but that’s not as guaranteed. Running back Jordan Todman? Yes, he can be considered a candidate, but my gut tells me the Steelers aren’t willing to risk losing him to another team.
What about guard Chris Hubbard? In all honesty, he might be the perfect candidate for a quick weekend turnaround. For starters, his tape isn’t overly impressive and he’s only played 11 snaps on offense so far this season in the one game that he dressed for. Surely he wouldn’t be appealing to teams over the weekend and thus should be able to be signed back to the 53-man roster on either Monday or Tuesday.
If Doug Legursky isn’t heathy enough to play come Sunday with his back injury, then perhaps he might be the one that has a quick turnaround. However, if he is the one, then Hubbard would have to dress on Sunday and serve as the backup center to starter Cody Wallace. Yikes!
We’ll see what the status of Allen is as the week progresses, but if he is indeed ultimately ruled out on the Friday injury report, I would look for Dangerfield to be promoted on Saturday.