Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie outside linebacker Keion Adams is expected to have surgery on his injured left shoulder and be placed on the team’s injured reserve list in the near future, a source told Steelers Depot today.
Adams suffered the injury during the eighth day of practice and has periodically had his left shoulder iced up during practice since. He was enjoying a solid start to camp and looking to battle Arthur Moats for the fifth – and likely final – outside linebacker spot.
The source did not know when the team would announce the move or when Adams would land on injured reserve. Per usual NFL rules, these roster moves typically happen after the third game when players are no longer subjected to waivers when being moved to IR. Jerald Hawkins wasn’t placed on IR until August 28th last year and Senquez Golson August 31st the year prior (Mike Tomlin announced the move ten days earlier). However, with the NFL getting rid of the 75 man cutdown, it is unclear if this rule and procedure has been effected.
It’s also unknown if Adams will be eligible to return this year. The NFL expanded their IR-to return list by passing a rule to allow two players to be placed on this list instead of one. They’ve also changed the rule to allow teams to not announce a to-return player until such a move has been decided, allowing teams to wait it out and see how players recover/rehab before making a final decision. In order to qualify to return, a player must begin the season on the team’s 53 man roster, just as Bud Dupree did in 2016.
Adams was the 248th pick in this year’s draft and the team’s final selection. As a senior at Western Michigan in 2016, he led the MAC with 18 TFL and 7.5 sacks while forcing three fumbles. In his career, he recorded 33 TFL and 14.5 sacks.
Kevin Colbert said they were looking to take a high-upside pas rusher when they drafted him.
“But what we were looking for was someone that could run the edge and still learn it. So, he ended up with 7.5 sacks. He had Jimmy Williams, a former No. 1 pick with the Detroit Lions, coaching him and Jimmy did a real nice job in upping this kid’s pass-rush game.”
Should Adams go on injured reserve and not return this season, he will come back in 2018 and may have an inside track on a roster spot.
Photo Credit: Tim Rice