Steelers get bad injury news right before their first roster cuts

Karl Joseph #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Karl Joseph #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Following the Steelers victory over the Seahawks, Coach Tomlin updated us with what he knew about the team’s injuries in his post-game conference.

Based on what Mike Tomline said, we knew that the most problematic injury was the one suffered by Karl Joseph, a safety battling for a second-string spot behind Terrell Edmunds. However, we had to await the doctor’s evaluation at that time. A reporter then asked Coach Tomlin about Anthony Miller’s absence. Coach Tomlin informed the media that the Steelers held him out due to a shoulder injury.

The Steelers get bad injury news

Between Saturday night and Tuesday, the Steelers got the news they had hoped not to hear. The injuries to both Joseph and Miller ended up being much worse than everyone had wished. It turned out Joseph broke his ankle; thus, he will not return in 2022.

As the news broke on Karl Joseph, we also learned that the prognosis for Anthony Miller turned out to be much worse than feared. In the Texans training camp last fall, Miller had dislocated his shoulder.

When the Steelers held him out of the game with the Seahawks, the prevailing notion was that he had re-aggravated his injury from last year, meaning he could have been out a few weeks possibly, but more than likely may have still made the roster as a 5th receiver. With today’s report, Miller will miss all of the 2022 season.

Which Steelers benefit from the injuries?

No one likes getting a starting job in the NFL because the guy in front of you is injured; however, everyone knows it’s an inherent risk that comes with the job. That said, the injury news also comes on the day each team needs to cut five positions, which now two will go to the injured reserve instead. Thus the Steelers will only need to cut three more players.

Considering Joseph and Miller were almost virtual locks, their departure from the roster in 2022 will benefit someone that was behind them. In the Saftey position, the impact is much less than what may occur with wide receivers.

On the Steelers defense, Tre Norwood and Damontae Kazee should, barring further injuries, land the backup safety positions. The battle for this spot should be interesting to watch as the remaining battle will be in the third string, where Donovan Stiner and Carlins Platel are the most likely not to make the final roster cut.

Potentially with some big plays in the last two preseason games, either could unseat Linden Stephens or Miles Killebrew for the third-string spot. Although quite possibly, Stephens might be on the bubble more than Killebrew.

In the wide receiver, Miller’s injury does not affect the top tier of the wide receiver corps but will create an interesting battle on the back end. Miller’s closest competition was either Miles Boykin or Gunner  Olszewski. With Miller gone, Boykin probably is a shoo-in for a final roster spot. The bigger question is how Miller would affect Olszewski, who had a big game on Saturday.

He may round out the top receiver positions if he shines as he did last weekend. However, with Miller gone, there will be a battle Between Christian Blake, Steven Sims, Tyler Vaughns, and Tyler Snead. Sims and Vaughns both made big plays when called on, but the performances of Blake and Snead fell flat. How the four of them perform in the last two preseason games will be paramount in deciding who is in and out.

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Not that there is ever an upside to an injury, but in this case, there is. Today is an NFL mandatory cut-down day; the Steelers can use the injured reserve to their advantage; it gives them a little flexibility in addressing cuts knowing two players go to the injured reserve instead. Ultimately someone, the Steelers, could have cut gets to fight on for one more week.