certainly looks as though the Pittsburgh Steelers’ initial 53-man roster is going to stay the same 53-man roster by the time they kick off in Foxboro, and that has been a rarity, especially lately.
For example, for the last several seasons, the team has had to start off the year by placing a player on the Reserve/Injured List in order for him to be eligible to return later in the season. In 2018, it was rookie outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who spent the first 13 weeks there. Veteran safety Nat Berhe was the circle-back player, released with the cuts and then re-signed after the Adeniyi move was made.
A few moves were made in 2017. First, they acquired veteran safety J.J. Wilcox via trade a day after the initial cuts were made. They then placed Cameron Sutton on the Reserve/Injured List and re-signed linebacker Steven Johnson, additionally waiving Jordan Dangerfield injured. Johnson was then released again to activated Le’Veon Bell before the start of the season.
2016 was Bud Dupree’s turn to be placed on the Reserve/Injured List to start the season, and for the second year in a row, it was Johnson who was released and then re-signed in order to make that move. With Bell being placed on the Reserve/Suspended List, they also had a spot for Justin Gilbert, acquired in trade.
2015 was another year of significant movement. A day after the initial 53-man roster was made, the Steelers were awarded two players off waivers: running back Jordan Todman and defensive end Caushaud Lyons.
In order to make room for them, rookie draft picks Doran Grant and Anthony Chickillo were both waived. Both cleared waivers, were re-signed to the practice squad, and later promoted back to the 53-man roster. In addition to that, Maurkice Pouncey was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, with Doug Legursky being re-signed. Many changes were also made to the practice squad, including the additions from other 90-man rosters of Fitzgerald Toussaint, Xavier Grimble, and Matt Feiler. Not bad.
As you can see over the course of the past four seasons, seeing a change or two take place before a game is played and after the initial 53-man roster is made is commonplace, part of the norm around the NFL and for the Steelers as well.
And considering the fact that the Steelers seemed to have a ripe area of the roster to address at tight end, not to mention some fringe rostered players who could have seen their release like Chickillo and Grant did in 2015, it could be considered somewhat surprising that Pittsburgh seems set to head up to New England with the same 53 that they assembled on Saturday.