Steelers Nation got some good news Friday when Gerry Dulac reported on PG Plus that Troy Poalamlu’s recovery from a slight Achilles tendon tear is healing well. Dulac further reported that Polamalu is under the care of an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles.
If Dulac is right about Polamalu, everyone in Steelers Nation can say a prayer of thanks, because number 43 is one of the true game-changing players in the league today.
The news on Aaron Smith is less welcome.
Aaron Smith of course tore a triceps in early October. The Steelers however did not put Smith on IR, opting to give him a chance to make a come back before year’s end, a decision which ultimately forced them to cut Thaddus Gibson, whom they’d picked in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
While Dulac reports that “Smith has suffered no set backs” he also indicates that “it is still unclear at this point if he will be 100 percent recovered in time for training camp” (assuming there is a training camp….)
Should Have Put Aaron Smith on IR
I am not medical expert, but this new information really calls Tomlin’s decision not to put Smith on IR into question.
Let’s be clear:
- The outcome of Super Bowl XLV would not have been different had Thaddus Gibson been on the roster.
According to Pro Football Reference, Thaddus Gibson got into two games in San Francisco, and the site did not track any tackles or other stats for the player. If Gibson is to be this generations Dwayne Board, as Ed Bouchette never tires of suggesting each time the Steelers cut a young defender, he’s given zero indication of that thus far.
But in hind sight the decision to keep Smith active did perhaps limit roster flexibility in other areas.