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: Defensive end Chris Wormley will be activated from the Reserve/Injured List this week and play on Sunday.
Explanation: After spending the past three weeks on the Reserve/Injured List with a knee injury, Chris Wormley began practicing on Wednesday. No details of his practice participation were offered (which is not required for players on reserve), but head coach Mike Tomlin sounded confident during his pre-game press conference in the veteran’s chances of being ready to go.
The Steelers obviously did not see Chris Wormley’s injury as overly significant, feeling that a three-week stint on the Reserve/Injured List would be a sufficient amount of time for him to get himself back up to speed, and perhaps even to protect himself from pushing to get back on the field, since players on reserve are unable to practice for the first three weeks they are on there.
Head coach Mike Tomlin’s evident confidence in Wormley’s level of preparedness to return also has me confident that he will indeed return. Given the state of the run defense lately, one could also argue that they could use all hands on deck at this point, which means we may even see an increased role for the veteran in what is increasingly likely to be his lone season in Pittsburgh.
Facing the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road, even if Wormley is 100 percent ready to go, they may choose not to rush him back onto the 53-man roster, wanting to give him two weeks of practice before he gets going. There is also, of course, the possibility that he actually is not physically ready to go this week and needs that second round of practices before he can get back.
Another consideration that a lot of people sometimes forget in these equations is the simple matter of having a roster spot. Sometimes the dynamics of the roster at the time leave one unmotivated to get a player going because they don’t have anybody they want to move. They currently have an open roster spot, but that will be pending the returns of Vance McDonald and Kevin Dotson. And what if they want to bring Antoine Brooks up to the roster?
They have started his 21-day practice window, meaning that he has to be activated, released, or left on reserve after it expires, but that is a decision that can wait up to another two weeks before it becomes critical.