Max Starks Back Running Now On Surgically Repaired ACL

I posted on Tuesday about Max Starks and how his No.78 jersey may or may not have been issued thus far to the new Pittsburgh Steelers rookies. I have been passing along any and all updates on the free agent tackle as he looks to recover from a torn ACL he suffered in the AFC Wild Card game against the Denver Broncos, and last night he gave me an update on his status.

Two weeks ago Starks let us know that he was on pace to be ready by mid July and that he was ahead of his rehab protocol. He also maintained in that update that he has every intention of playing in 2012 as well. I asked Starks again Tuesday night how his rehab was coming along and let him know that I did not think that his number had been given away yet. He replied via Twitter, “doing great, thanks! The ACL is getting stronger and I\’m running now! Thanks for the update, it\’s not just any number! Lol”

Starks still has nearly three months to go before the Steelers report to training camp, so it does indeed seem that he could very well be an option for the Steelers to sign at the start of camp. He is an experienced veteran, and as I pointed out on Tuesday, they could place him on the ACTIVE/PUP list at the start of camp to give him a couple of more weeks to get that knee stronger. At the very least he would be in the house at that point and could be acclimated to the new offense of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

The Steelers currently have just three true tackles with NFL game experience on their roster right now in the form of Willie Colon, Marcus Gilbert and Jonathan Scott. Gilbert is entering his second year now and Colon has missed all but one game in the last two seasons due to a torn Achilles and triceps. The Steelers did draft Ohio State tackle Mike Adams this past weekend in the second round, but he could take a while to groom to be NFL game ready. Trai Essex was brought back as well this offseason, but he is best suited as an interior swing man in my opinion and at best a right tackle temporary fill-in.

The Steelers really need to add another experienced swing tackle to the roster in my opinion, as I think Scott is just too shaky and expensive to boot. Starks could be that guy if recovered and I will continue to pass along the updates on him as we march towards the start of camp.

  • Lee

    Sure would like to have Max Starks back in a Steelers uniform. He’s a good player and is a very good person.



  • Richmyros

    here’s my thoughts on the last year starting oline and this years on paper oline. RT even Colin for Gilbert, RG plus C even LG even Foster for Kemo. LT minus Gilbert for Starks. So it wure would look good if Adams and Gilbert could learn from Starks. LT Starks for Scott a big plus. Plus they can afford him!

  • Broderick Wallace

    I would not be surprised if Steelers cut J. Scott and sign Starks. If Starks can prove that he is healthy enough to play albeit reserve swing tackle on gameday then Steelers can cut J. Scott and use the extra money to sign Wallace to long term deal before regular season begins.

  • steelerfan

    I’d love to see “The Undertaker” back in Pittsburgh next season. He could provide veteran leadership and stability whether he starts or not.

  • Frankthebuc

    Scott will be cut before training camp. Lineup will be Adams, Colon, Pouncy, DeCastro, Gilbert backups are Legursky (3 year deal coming soon) Foster will be released after refusing to take a pay cut (see Tony Hills), Starks, Beachum, Essex

    Come back to this article in August and watch how close my prediction will be to the actual lineup.

  • SteelersDepot

    I would be shocked if Legursky gets a three year deal and Adams is the starting left tackle in week 1. Also Foster signed a one-year tender. Releasing him would also be a shocker and a pay cut aint happening either.

  • Richie

    Everyone is dissing Adams but I think he will be very motivated to earn a starting spot. He has way more skills than Gilbert. These big guys sometimes are a little lackadaisical and Gilbert found out what happens when you loaf

  • zbluez1

    Going with Dave on this one Frank, though I have been known to disagree with Dave from time to time on things, I think Ryan Lee has more of a chance starting than Foster has a chance of being released and everyone has been on my case about Ryan even being able to make the team at all. Foster is a grinder with heart, he’ll be on the team and is much more adept at applying his talent then Hills ever was. I too would like to see Max back and J. Scott gone for salary cap purposes alone as much as his inconsistent play, but that is just my opinion.

  • SteelersDepot

    Not dissing Adams at all, just pointing out the reality of where he is at.

  • CW

    Personally I’d be surprised if Max Starks isn’t back with the team and both Scotts are gone by training camp. If Starks is healthy for the first game of the season, I’d also not be shocked to see him as the starting left tackle while Mike Adams develops to replacement as the long term left tackle.

    Though the way I see it Starks will probably get a new multi-year deal once Johnathan Scott is cut with a look to him becoming the first backup at tackle after this year. Not as much money as a backup, but Max Starks could very well become like Charlie Batch, a veteran mainstay who could maybe make more money elsewhere in a single year, but because they only get so much playing time can stretch out their careers by four or five years more than they would otherwise get and make decent money as a long term backup.