The Pittsburgh Steelers announced they have released tight end Rob Blanchflower and offensive tackles Mitchell Van Dyk and Kelvin Palmer. They signed defensive tackle Lavon Hooks and long snapper Matt Dooley. The news was first reported by Ray Fittipaldo.
Steelers sign DT Lavon Hooks and long snapper Matt Dooley. They released TE Blanchflower and OTs Van Dyk and Palmer.
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) February 16, 2016
Blanchflower, the 7th round pick in the 2014 draft, always had some measure of talent but just like in college, could not escape the injury bug. He was waived/injured in August with an unspecified injury. Van Dyk and Palmer also spent the entire season on injured reserve with leg injuries.
Update: All three players were given failed physical designations, leading to their release.
Hooks played his college ball at Mississippi. Standing in at 6’3/3 312 pounds, he spent time with the Green Bay Packers as a UDFA in 2015 before being released on August 31st. In his final year at Ole Miss, he recorded 6.5 TFL and 2 sacks despite not making an official start.
Dooley was invited to the Steelers’ rookie minicamp last year but did not earn a contract. He was Indiana’s starting long-snapper for all four seasons and named the team’s special teams player of the year in 2014, according to his bio.