Matt Spaeth Being Evaluated, Will He Return to Practice?


Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I questioned whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers would activate Matt Spaeth before the 2013 campaign came to an end. Not much had been reported regarding the status of Pittsburgh’s hobbled tight end, and I was at least interested to know how close he was to returning to the active roster.

Today however, some news about Spaeth surfaced during Mike Tomlin’s most recent press conference. According to Teresa Varley of the team’s official website, Tomlin had the following to say about his tight end who suffered a Lisfranc (foot) injury before the regular season began:

"We’ll take a look at where he is and let that be our guide in terms of his participation and coming back to practice this week, … We are at that point where it is a legitimate discussion, but we’ll see what he looks like from a rehabilitation standpoint before we make that decision."

In typical Tomlin-fashion, Pittsburgh’s head coach did not disclose much about how close Spaeth is to returning to practice for the Steelers earlier today. Nevertheless, the fact that Spaeth could be close to being fully recovered from his most recent injury is definitely a positive sign.

Pittsburgh has received some less-than-stellar play from their backup tight ends on the offensive side of the ball this fall, and it didn’t help that David Johnson suffered a season-ending injury once again either. The return of a healthy Spaeth would give the team their best blocking tight end back, plus it would allow the Steelers to have a little bit more versatility in the passing game when they employ formations with multiple tight ends.

I should mention though that once Spaeth eventually returns to practice, the Steelers will have 21 days to decide to either activate him, place him on injured reserve, or release him. Of course, we won’t know what Pittsburgh’s brass will ultimately choose to do with the seventh-year tight end until he is actually on the practice field once again for them.

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