The hot news this afternoon after practice is that practice squad tackle Trevis Turner could be promoted to the active roster for the Sunday game against the Houston Texans due to injuries to Jonathan Scott and Doug Legursky. If indeed that does happen, the Steelers will need to either release a player or place one on injured reserve to make room for him on the 53 man roster.
From a salary cap standpoint the Steelers will likely have to release a player with less than 4 years accrued experience as after week 1 the vested players base salary is guaranteed and thus still counts against the cap. That would narrow the choice down to a few players like second-year lineman Chris Scott, rookie linebacker Chris Carter or defensive lineman Steve McLendon as the likeliest candidates.
Veteran defensive end Brett Keisel will likely be out once again this week with his knee injury so you can almost assume that McLendon is safe from being released. The choice between Scott and Carter might come down to the number of lineman that head coach Mike Tomlin decides he wants to dress this week. If he wants to dress the normal 7 then Scott could be the one to get waived. If Tomlin however wants to dress Scott as an 8th lineman, then Carter would be the likeliest player to be waived. Carter is indeed still battling a hamstring injury though and the Steelers might not want to expose their 2011 5th round draft pick to waivers. This happened last year with Thaddeus Gibson as he was waived to make room for McLendon due to injuries to Keisel and Aaron Smith. Gibson was promptly claimed by the 49ers off of waivers.
The only other option that I mentioned above would be to place someone on injured reserve for the year, but that would only happen if one of the currently injured players was expected to miss an extended amount of time. That player would still count against the salary cap as well if placed on IR, so there is no relief there. Arnaz Battle has some sort of knee injury, so depending on the severity of it, he might be the likeliest option if he is going to be out a while. There is always Bryant McFadden and his bad hamstring, but he seems like he is getting closer to being 100% by most reports and I just do not see that happening. Doug Legursky and Jonathan Scott are also injured, but by all accounts they are not of the season ending variety.
Right now it seems like it could be Scott or Carter that get waived and my money is on Scott right now. If the move indeed happens it likely would not be announced until late Friday or early Saturday. We shall see soon.