The only real surprise on the list of 15 roster moves made on Monday by the Pittsburgh Steelers was that linebacker Mortty Ivy was waived injured.
I posted during the Steelers Saturday night preseason game against the Buffalo Bills that it looked like Ivy was shot in the back of his left leg in the second half and I wondered if he had injured his hamstring. Turns out that I was right as Ivy confirmed to me on Monday via Twitter that he did indeed suffer a left hamstring injury and that was the reason for his waiving. Ivy did say that he expects to be back healthy soon, so one could assume he received a small injury settlement and will not be placed on injured reserve when he clears waivers.
Ivy was very likely going to make the Steelers final 53 man roster as he worked quite a bit at both outside linebacker spots during the preseason. He also has some limited experience at playing inside in addition. On top of that, Ivy has also played early in the preseason games on special teams, which was another sign that he was going to make the roster.
With Ivy now gone, the door opens up even wider for undrafted rookie linebacker Adrian Robinson to make the initial 53 man roster. Being as outside linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds still remain firmly planted on the PUP list, and inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester is still believed to be several weeks away from returning after he suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee right before the Steelers broke training camp, the linebacker numbers remain thin.
Brandon Johnson, who has worked both inside and outside during the preseason is now a lock to make the roster. Robinson has played only at the left outside spot in the Steelers first three preseason games, and while head coach Mike Tomlin calls him a one-trick pony, that one trick of getting after the opposing quarterback certainly looks good thus far. Robinson has not overly flashed thus far on special teams, but you can bet that he will get plenty of work in that area during the Steelers preseason finale Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Another undrafted player that could benefit from the thinness at the linebacker position is Marshall McFadden, who has played extensively inside late in all three of the preseason games. While he is still outside of the bubble looking in, it would only likely take Worilds starting the regular season on PUP or Sylvester being waived injured next week for him to get serious consideration for a spot on the 53.