The Pittsburgh Steelers made it out of the 2018 NFL Draft without taking a linebacker, either outside or in, but that doesn’t mean there are no new faces they’re looking forward to seeing later this year in training camp. One of the guys they’re ready to get a good look at in Latrobe is Keion Adams, the outside linebacker they selected in the seventh round a year ago.
The Western Michigan product suffered a shoulder injury after a handful of training camp practices, so he didn’t get an opportunity to show much to his coaches. He didn’t even make it to a preseason game. But they were encouraged by what they did see. And they were encouraged by his rehab from injury as well.
General Manager Kevin Colbert was recently interviewed as part of Steelers Nation Unite, during which he answered questions submitted by fans, and one person asked about Adams, wanting to know where he was from an injury standpoint and what they thought of him.
“Keion has done fine from a rehab standpoint”, Colbert offered, saying in fact that “he was really through that injury in about five months, he was fully healthy. Now it’s a matter of conditioning and getting back into football”.
That would mean that he was healthy, presumably meaning that he received a clean bill of health, right around the time that the regular season was ending, so he has already had several months to work his way back into the football side of things. Still, it’s ultimately something they haven’t seen yet.
“Until he gets onto the football field and works it’s really hard to answer that because we really haven’t seen him do football other than just the rehab stuff”, Colbert said of any early efforts to try to evaluate what Adams has to offer.
Again, that doesn’t mean that they’re not excited about getting a good look at him this year. Of course they do. It just means that they haven’t gotten the opportunity to see much, so anything they might have to say about what he will be like on the field is making conjecture.
Adams’s shoulder injury about a week into training camp resulted in him spending his rookie season on injured reserve, placed there well before the roster cuts were made so he could not have been activated even if the team wanted to do so or if he was healthy.
But the truth is that there likely wasn’t room for him anyway, as the Steelers already carried five outside linebackers on the 53-man roster, including starters T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree and reserves Anthony Chickillo, Arthur Moats, and James Harrison. A practice squad spot was likely in his future if he stayed healthy.