The Steelers placed Matt Spaeth on the “IR-designated to return” list this afternoon according to Bob Labriola of the team’s website. I cannot say I was surprised when I heard the news, especially since the tight end is expected to be sidelined for an extended period due to the Lisfranc injury he sustained during training camp.
Because of his “IR-designated to return” status tough, the Steelers will be unable to activate their tight end until the eight week of the regular season is finished. In addition, Spaeth will not even be allowed to practice with the team until the sixth week of the regular season is over as well. Thankfully for the Steelers, their backup tight end should be able to return healthy at some point this fall, and the team will at least have the option of activating him later in the year.
To take Spaeth’s place on the 53-man roster, Pittsburgh’s brass promoted rookie UDFA Terence Garvin. The inside linebacker performed well enough during training camp and preseason play to earn a practice squad berth. Yet whether or not he will be active for game days during Spaeth’s absence is a mystery.
To fill Garvin’s spot on the practice squad, the Steelers inked Kashif Moore. The recently released wide receiver provides Pittsburgh with another pass-catcher and special teams contributor to turn to if injuries strike.
With the tight end position in such flux right now, I can totally understand why they used the “IR-designated to return” status on Spaeth. I also hope that it means that Le’Veon Bell is closer to returning than many of us had hoped as well.
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