During his pre-game press conference on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin alluded to the possibility of some roster moves been made in order to make accommodations relative to injuries that players intended to be active for games have suffered.
One of the players who has been sidelined with an injury is second-year running back Jaylen Samuels, who suffered some sort of knee injury in the loss on Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens. It was notable enough that he had an operation on the knee the next day, and Tomlin said that he expects him to miss about a month’s worth of work or so.
Factoring in the continued absence of fullback Roosevelt Nix, that leaves the Steelers with just third-year James Conner and rookie Benny Snell at the running back positions on the 53-man roster as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. But they do have another running back working with them in Trey Edmunds.
Edmunds, the older brother of starting safety Terrell Edmunds, has been with the organization since the start of the regular season in 2018. He spent the first 13 weeks that year on the practice squad, but he was activated to the 53-man roster for the final four weeks after Conner suffered a high ankle sprain and missed three games.
Now with another notable injury at the running back position, Edmunds could get the call-up again, though he was hesitant this week to say that he expects it to happen. “I don’t know if I would use the word ‘expect’, but I’ll be ready if it does happen”, he told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“I’m just going to go out there and continue to work like I’ve been working and let the chips fall where they fall”, said the veteran running back. “I haven’t heard word. I’m just going to go out here and work, and if it happens, I’ll be excited. If not, I’ll continue to work”.
While he did spend the final four weeks of the 2018 season on the active roster, including the finale, for which Conner had already returned, Edmunds remained limited to seeing work on special teams during that time, and I wouldn’t expect the plan to change.
With Samuels not a significant contributor on special teams, it wouldn’t be a complete shock if the Steelers don’t actually promote Edmunds unless they suffer a second injury at the position. But if Anthony Chickillo returns, that may free them up to release Jayrone Elliott, the number five outside linebacker, to call Edmunds up for the next stretch, at least until Samuels returns. But if brought up, he could stick for special teams purposes as well.