Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Stock Value: Up
He practiced yesterday, at least in some capacity. That’s about as good of an outcome as one could have expected to hear on the Monday afternoon prior to the Steelers’ regular season opener. Adeniyi suffered a knee injury that resulted in surgery to likely trim his meniscus, an operation that has sidelined him since going down in the first preseason game.
There was a belief that the injury could cause him to miss the first couple of games during the regular season. Some speculation even existed that he may even be a candidate to be placed on the Reserve/Injured List for the second consecutive season with an eye toward him returning in the second half of the year.
That he was able to practice in some capacity yesterday obviously renders that a highly unlikely proposition at best, and puts him in play to possibly be available for the Steelers this weekend, in which case he would serve as the number four outside linebacker and would be asked to participate on special teams, a role he did not have in his arsenal a year ago.
Many felt that Adeniyi would be primed for a breakout season, and his performance in the early stages of training camp were very encouraging, but he will be working to get on the moving train at this point, having missed most of August.
He was virtually a non-participant during his rookie season, having only been promoted to the 53-man roster from the Reserve/Injured List for the final four games, and he only dressed in one, playing a handful of snaps while subbing for Bud Dupree, who was nursing an injury at the time.
The other two backups in addition to Adeniyi this season are fifth-year veteran Anthony Chickillo, who was the number three last season and will remain so to start this year, in addition to rookie undrafted free agent Tuzar Skipper, who earned his spot through a great preseason performance.