The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.
How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the Steelers make any more moves at the running back or wide receiver positions?
It’s pretty incredible that the Steelers finished their last game watching their top running back and their top two wide receivers hobble to the sidelines and not return and even with a long week, it’s not clear who among them, if any, will be available for the next game.
With Benny Snell still out until we learn otherwise, James Conner reaggravated a shoulder injury that caused him to miss two games. Remaining only are Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds. Rookie Tony Brooks-James was just replaced with Kerrith Whyte, Jr. Whyte is a rookie seventh-round pick whom they signed off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. He has kick return ability. But his signing replaces rather than adds to the running back room.
With both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson suffering concussions, the only healthy wide receivers on the 53-man roster heading into yesterday were James Washington, Johnny Holton, and Tevin Jones, who was just called up from the practice squad to take the place of Ryan Switzer after he was placed on the Reserve/Injured List.
The Steelers released Jayrone Elliott, once again, and signed 2018 sixth-round pick Deon Cain to the 53-man roster, giving them six wide receivers again. He was on the Reserve/Injured List as a rookie by the Indianapolis Colts, and was at the time of signing, on their practice squad.