If the season began today – and, of course, it doesn’t – and/or if Ladarius Green’s surgically-repaired ankle doesn’t improve over the next five weeks… what are the Steelers options at tight end?
Jesse James would start and serve the No. 1 role. Xavier Grimble has been taking practice reps commensurate with a player who’s expected to have a not-insignificant role in the offense. David Johnson will handle duties of a hybrid Matt Spaeth/Will Johnson 2015 version, meaning mostly as a blocker. It appears Nix is being prepped for some traditional tight end-style work, and maybe someone such Mt. Lebanon native Paul Lang steals a roster spot (in lieu of a still-PUP’d Green).
As the story said, the unsettled situation bares watching over the next four weeks through the preseason games and up until the final cutdown day. That's especially true if Green's injury continues to keep him out.
Jul 29, 2016 · 12:04 PM EDT
Last year, Jesse James was a newbie to the Steelers and the NFL. Now, he's their most tenured tight end.
With the retirement of Heath Miller and the release of Matt Spaeth, James — at 22 — is the veteran voice in the tight end room, at least when it comes to tenure with the Steelers.
“It's a new tight end room,” James said. “I am really the only guy who is back. It is a little different, but I feel good about it.”
The Steelers signed Ladarius Green and brought back David Johnson to bolster the position. Xavier Grimble was on the practice squad last year, but wasn't with the Steelers during training camp. Green isn't able to practice at this point and is on the PUP list, so James has a chance to shine and earn some valuable reps in the process.
Jan 15, 2016 · 5:23 PM EST
Steelers TE Matt Spaeth (not injury related, probable) returned to take full practice reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is probable for Week 19.
Jan 14, 2016 · 6:07 PM EST
Steelers TE Matt Spaeth (not injury related) was added to the injury report Thursday after missing practice.