2020 South Side Questions: Will Robert Spillane Be Ready To Return This Week?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

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 Robert Spillane return from the Reserve/Injured List this week?

As a partial consequence of the pandemic, the NFL modified its Reserve/Injured List rules on a temporary basis that allows teams to return any player to the active roster from reserve, and only requires that they remain on reserve for a minimum of three games.

Second-year linebacker Robert Spillane, who entered the starting lineup after Devin Bush tore his ACL toward the middle of the season, has now been on the Reserve/Injured List for three games after suffering a knee injury of his own.

In other words, he is now eligible to begin practicing this week and to be activated to the 53-man roster. The Steelers could certainly use him, given that they had to go so far as to promote Tegray Scales to the 53-man roster.

Ulysees Gilbert III returned from the Reserve/Injured List for a week only to be sent back there, and will have to miss at least two more games, assuming that he makes it back at all this year. It’s not clear what Marcus Allen’s status will be.

If they can get Spillane back this week and get him some reps under his belt before throwing him into a game in the postseason, it would certainly help. Avery Williamson could then scale back into a reduced role, for which he may be better suited.

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