Matt Spaeth Injures Lisfranc; Possible Done for Year; Steelers Thin at Tight End

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth went down with an injury on Thursday August 8th. On Friday the Steelers added two more tight ends to their roster, in the form of Michael Palmer and Nathan Overbay.

  • The timing of those two events was in no way coincidental.

The Steelers had released little in the way of information on Matt Spaeth’s injury, other than to say it was to the foot. But later this afternoon Pittsburgh Tribune Review writer Dejan Kovacevic broke the news:

Ouch. Unconfirmed, but I’m hearing #Steelers TE Matt Spaeth will have lisfranc surgery that will end season. That’s middle of foot.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) August 9, 2013

Other reports are pegging the recovery time at 8-10 weeks, which would put the Steelers at mid-season.

  • Could Dejan’s prediction turn out to be too dire?

Perhaps, but most likely not. As Behind the Steel Curtain has pointed out, recent NFL history with Lisfranc injuries shows that they are normally season-enders, reminding us of how similar injures end the 2012 seasons of Santonio Holmes and Maurice Jones-Drew.

  • One way or another the Steelers must make a decision on Spaeth. There is no way they can carry him on the roster until mid season hoping that he returns to health. 

They could carry him through the preseason and put him on injured reserve and designate him as a player who can return, as they did with David DeCastro last year, but that is not likely.

With Spaeth out, the 2012 7th round pick David Paulson now must “grow up fast” as the starting role will fall to him until Heath Miller can return to health. In the meantime, Ben Roethlisberger is going to need target for passes in the middle of the field.

In addition, the Steelers have David Johnson who is on the PUP list, as well as Jaime McCoy and Peter Tuitupou….

…Where is Preston Gothard when you need him?

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