Aug 12, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Jonathan Dwyer (27) and Isaac Redman (33) make their way to the field to participate in training camp drills at Saint Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Lolley of The Observer Reporter tweeted earlier today that the Steelers are set to start veteran Isaac Redman at running back instead of Jonathan Dwyer while rookie Le’Veon Bell recovers from his recent foot sprain.
I know that I was not surprised by the news. Redman was listed at the top of Pittsburgh’s depth chart before he sustained a stinger a week and a half ago at practice, and the Steelers appeared ready to trade Dwyer as recently as April after they added Bell and LaRod Stephens-Howling to their roster.
If Redman is set to be the starter, then it is a pretty clear indication that he is healthy enough to at least compete in Pittsburgh’s final preseason game against Carolina this Thursday night. Moreover, Dwyer could be fighting for his “NFL life” two days from now when he will try to outperform Stephens-Howling and the recently acquired Felix Jones.
I should also mention that Stephens-Howling just recently returned to practice according to Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, and I am sure that the coaching staff want to take a long look at Jones during the Carolina game as well.
If the Steelers prefer Stephens-Howling and Jones to Dwyer, then the former Yellow Jacket’s tumultuous three-year career in Pittsburgh will be finished. Dwyer had a perfect opportunity to wrestle the starting running back position away last fall when he led the team in rushing yards (623), but injuries and weight issues led to the franchise’s decision to select Le’Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Although Dwyer’s future is not set in stone, the writing could very well be on the wall for the former sixth round pick.
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