As expected, the Steelers placed starting left tackle Max Starks on injured reserve Wednesday morning with a neck injury and activated rookie lineman Chris Scott from the PUP list to the 53 man roster to take his place. Starks was injured Monday night against the Bengals and tried to return wearing a big neck brace, but ultimately was forced again from the game. Head coach Mike Tomlin called the injury a neck stinger during his Tuesday press conference, but a later MRI revealed a disc problem in the vertebrae as well. Tackle Jonathan Scott is expected to now start at left tackle with Starks down.
Chris Scott was drafted in the 5th round by the Steelers this past April, but broke a bone in his foot prior to training camp and missed all of camp and preseason following surgery. Scott has been allowed to practice with the Steelers for the last 21 days after spending the first 6 weeks on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Had the injury to Starks not happened, the Steelers would have had to make a move with Scott regardless as the league mandated 21 day window ended and the deadline to either place Scott on IR, waive him or activate him to the 53 man roster.
The rookie Scott is expected to be a gameday inactive for quite a while as he is still catching up from missed practice time. It is unclear if Scott will be groomed as a tackle or guard as he has played both in college. For now he will likely learn both to serve as an emergency swing lineman if more injuries occur.