The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Will Larry Ogunjobi’s foot be an issue this season?
Larry Ogunjobi is a talented player—make no mistake about that. He was considered a rising star by his second season with the Cleveland Browns. The Chicago Bears were prepared to sign him to quite a healthy contract earlier this offseason, but he ended up failing a physical due to a foot injury he sustained last season.
Even the Steelers were willing to break with their own conventions with a one-year, incentive-based $8 million deal in order to sign him following the retirement of Stephon Tuitt. But the caveat is whether or not that foot injury, which caused him to lose out on a very nice contract a few months ago, will be an issue while he’s playing for them this year.
According to reports, the team expects him to be prepared to participate in training camp. But they also have a history of acquiring players in spite of their injury histories, like Ladarius Green and Brandon Boykin, which became an issue in both cases.
Obviously, Ogunjobi passed whatever physical the Steelers put him through, so they are happy with wherever he currently is with his foot. But reports suggesting he’ll be ready for training camp seemingly imply that he’s not 100 percent right now.
I trust that the Steelers know what they’re doing and that they are confident Ogunjobi will be good to go for them when they need him to go. But it’s not unreasonable to pose the question when we’re talking about a significant June free-agent acquisition who already previously lost out on a big-money deal earlier this year.