With injuries mounting, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s depth chart seems thin


After spending four years at Penn State, I have amassed a lot of friends from the greater Philadelphia area who all believe their new “dream team” is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I continue to dismiss thoughts that the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFL, and I still think the Eagles have a lot to prove before that team will be able to hoist the Lombardi trophy in February.

But as I scroll down the laundry list of players who are currently injured for the Steelers, I wonder to myself if the Steelers made the right move by sticking with its current roster during the frantic free agent signing period this offseason.

As of Wednesday night, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had already ruled out seven players for Friday night’s game. Some of the more notable players to make the list are wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, guard Chris Kemoeatu, and cornerbacks Cortez Allen and Bryant McFadden. The list of names does not include rookie running back Baron Batch, who will miss the entire season with a torn ACL suffered in Wednesday’s practice.

With Steelers players seemingly dropping like flies, it begs the question as to whether the Steelers should have been more aggressive in free agency to ensure its depth chart would be filled.

Now I know the Steelers were strapped with moves that could be made as the team was $10 million over the cap at the beginning of free agency, but as the season approaches, it seems as though the black and gold are very thin at a couple key positions.

I believe the Steelers No. 1 and 2 cornerbacks are solid. I am a big Ike Taylor fan, and I also believe Bryant McFadden is ready to have a break out year. But after those two players, the rest of the depth chart looks dim. William Gay will serve as the Steelers nickel…..not a comforting thought, and after Gay, Keenan Lewis, Crezdon Butler, and rookie Cortez Allen will be battling for position. I was excited to see what Allen could bring to the table, but he will be sidelined for the team’s first preseason game due to injury. Look for Butler to step up on Friday night to prove he can be a go-to-guy for the Steelers this season.

Another position that has me worried is in the backfield. After running back Rashard Mendenhall, the picture of who will make up the rest of the running back core is a little distorted. While Baron Batch looked poised to make a surprise run at the back-up position, he will no longer be available this season. Mewelde Moore, who was recently resigned, will take on the role of third down back, but Mendenhall’s regular back-up is still to be determined. Jonathan Dwyer, who seems to constantly be a disappointment, will almost assuredly not make the team let alone get the back-up role, leaving Isaac Redman as the Steelers best option. I think Redman is more than capable of filling the back-up role for the Steelers, but only time will tell if he will have what it takes in the long run.