As expected, the Steelers confirmed today that Aaron Smith had undergone surgery to repair a torn triceps.
The unexpected news was that the Steelers were not, for the time being, putting him on injured reserve. While offers a big of unanticipated hope Steelers fans would do well to remember that management has tried this tactic before without reaping much of a reward.
In 2008 the Steelers kept Marvel Smith on the active roster until late in December, even though he did not play after being injured in the Jacksonville game.
Likewise in 2009, the Steelers kept Troy Polamalu on the active roster through the end of the season, even though he did not return after leaving the Cincinnati game.
Room on the Roster?
While the desire to keep Smith active Is understandable, one might question whether the Steelers can afford this luxury. They’re almost certain to activate McClendon from the practice squad, but to do that they would need to cut one of their player.
This will be difficult, given that the Steelers roster has been crafted to balance veterans with defined roles and rookie’s whose potential they hope to develop.