The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The Steelers will make a roster move at wide receiver because of Ryan Switzer’s injury.
Explanation: Third-year wide receiver Ryan Switzer suffered a back injury during Sunday’s game, and Mike Tomlin seemed pessimistic about the chances of him being available for Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. With Donte Moncrief already gone, that would leave them with four healthy wide receivers.
While Switzer has hardly played on offense (his role was trending slightly upward in terms of snaps, however), it has been incredibly rare to see the Steelers or any team operate with only four wide receivers in today’s game.
And considering the fact that they recently brought back the four-receiver set—I know they used it two weeks ago, I haven’t had the opportunity to finish charting Sunday’s game—that increases the likelihood of them wanting to make a move of some kind, with Tevin Jones on the practice squad who is capable of playing all positions.
Even if they don’t call somebody up, however, they would want another body for practice. And Switzer is their primary kick and punt returner, so they’ll want at least depth options to replace him. Diontae Johnson will probably handle punts, Johnny Holton and/or Tony Brooks-James, assuming he’s still on the roster, working kick returns.
The week is too short for this to be much of a factor. Even if you bring somebody in, you don’t have time to work with him. And the work week is short enough as it is, where it wouldn’t be as much of a factor on the practice field.
As was established, Switzer hasn’t had much of a role on offense at all. They already have the other guys who will be doing the returns on the roster. They’ve trimmed their fat pretty close on this roster already, as well. The only move I could possibly see is giving Robert Spillane a week off, especially after his two special-teams penalties, and replacing him with Jones, who can play in the third phase. Besides, they already added another wide receiver to the practice squad as a ‘body’ guy, named Terry Wright, rookie out of Purdue.