It won’t be long now before we hear from Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin again. One can’t help but wonder if we’ll hear further news on the status of sixth-year veteran outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo by then. Chickillo was arrested for assault, among other charges, his girlfriend accusing him of grabbing her and tossing her to the ground.
The Steelers reportedly instructed him not to report to the team facility yesterday, and he deleted his social media profiles as well, though that is not necessarily an indication of impending news about his status with the team going forward.
While the team is reportedly investigating the incident for itself, it’s hard to imagine that they will determine that he was entirely in the right, and even a limited finding of ‘guilt’ might be enough to result in his dismissal. The Steelers can’t really afford to have any distractions right now, especially not for a backup.
They obviously value what he does as a player, both on defense and on special teams, as he has rotated fairly significantly on both the left and right sides of the defense and of course is a core member of most special teams unit. Making the decision to let him go will not necessarily be taken lightly.
I don’t want to jump the gun and say that this is the action that they will take, though of course it’s well within the realm of possibility, but in the event that they do release Chickillo, it would seem likely that the corresponding move would be to re-sign Jayrone Elliott, who has spent most of the season on the 53-man roster.
Originally signed late in the preseason, Elliott was not on the initial 53-man roster, but he was signed after Week One following the New York Giants claiming Tuzar Skipper off waivers. He has typically been inactive, but injuries have allowed him to get some playing time, even recently seeing a few snaps on defense.
He was waived before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers in order to make room for players who were being brought up as injury replacements, namely Paxton Lynch and Trey Edmunds, both from the practice squad.
Elliott is likely to be re-signed regardless of what happens with Chickillo, as a matter of fact, unless the Steelers plan to retain Lynch on the 53-man roster, which I would question. Lynch has practice squad eligibility, while Elliott does now, so if they want him, he has to be on the roster.