Kevin Colbert appeared on Steelers Nation Radio for a Q&A session with fans today. One of the topics touched on was Martavis Bryant’s replacement. Colbert ran through just about every name on the roster, which is no surprise, but also mentioned Eli Rogers, still a free agent after tearing his ACL in the playoff loss to Jacksonville.
“Eli Rogers suffered that knee injury last year in that playoff game unfortunately,” Colbert said. “He hasn’t gotten back into the mix yet because he ‘s not at full health. At some point, he may get back into the mix as well.”
That meshes with what Mike Tomlin stated in late March, when he told reporters he would like to have the slot receiver back.
Of course, that timeline is going to be dependent on Rogers’ health and a severe knee injury that late in the season doesn’t promise availability for the start of training camp. He’s not going to be able to be signed until he’s at full health and able to pass a physical.
Adding him would be a boost to depth at wide receiver, which at the moment, is looking much thinner than usual. In his full answer of the question about Bryant’s replacement, Colbert thumbed through the Rolodex of names, predictably not anointing James Washington that guy – mentioning him last – while talking about Darrius Heyward-Bey and Justin Hunter.
Though Rogers absolutely would not replace Bryant, they play different positions, it would give them more flexibility to do things like flex JuJu Smith-Schuster outside because Rogers can play in the slot. Right now, it’s unclear who the backup slot receiver would be based on the current roster, though I’d lean towards DHB.
If Rogers is brought back, it likely won’t occur until right before training camp, giving him enough time to recover and get medically cleared. Should it get to that point, he’ll then have to get back into football shape after dedicating the entire offseason to rehabbing.