The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. It ended in spectacular fashion — though the wrong kind of spectacular — in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.
Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?
These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.
Question: Is Marcus Allen still a Reserve/Injured List candidate whose movement is delayed as the Steelers wait to promote Karl Joseph to the 53-man roster?
I posed the question yesterday if the Steelers would move any players to the Reserve/Injured List. They ended up moving three players, but one of the chief possibilities, Marcus Allen, was not among them. The inside linebacker suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale; it is not clear what his health status is.
One way or another, the Steelers are going to have to open up a roster spot when they promote safety Karl Joseph to the 53-man roster from the practice squad, as has been reported as their intention. He first must clear COVID-19 testing protocols.
That makes me wonder if Allen is still going to be moved to the Reserve/Injured List, but that obviously depends entirely upon his health status. Still, I feel it may be the most likely option, given that they kept six inside linebackers, with Ulysees Gilbert III being among them.
They kept Gilbert over rookie outside linebacker Quincy Roche, despite having clearly played much better during the preseason; with the extra number on the inside, one would assume the lost roster spot would come from there.
And if they are just going to cut Gilbert once they promote Joseph, then it seems pretty pointless to have done that in the first place. At least if Roche were kept and then cut, it would have served the purpose of not exposing to the initial round of waiver claims, assuming they would have wanted to re-sign him to the practice squad.