Depending on how severe the injuries are to wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Chris Rainey, the Pittsburgh Steelers might be forced to make a roster move later on in the week.
The team dresses four wide receivers on a weekly basis with Rainey serving as an emergency fifth, so you can see the dilemma that the coaching staff might be facing Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs should both Brown and Rainey ultimately be ruled out for the game.
Rainey suffered an injury to his ribs of sorts, while Brown suffered a left ankle sprain that head coach Mike Tomlin termed as being mild. The extra day of preparation that the team gets this week might be just what the doctor ordered, especially in the case of Brown.
Should a move ultimately need to be made, wide receiver David Gilreath would be the player most likely to be promoted from the practice squad with Toney Clemons being the other option. In order to promote either of those two players, one would have to be released from the 53 man roster to make room.
Would it be reserve cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke? I kind of doubt it because there is no guarantee that he would clear waivers. The Steelers chose not to release him when they sat him down for the game against the Washington Redskins as they appear to still be high on his long-term potential.
What about linebacker Adrian Robinson? I think the same holds true for him as well. They like his long term potential and don\’t want to risk losing him to the waiver process.
Rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta\’amu won\’t be released, so that leaves us with either defensive end Al Woods or veteran quarterback Charlie Batch as the only two remaining options in my opinion. We have seen Batch play the short weekend merry-go-round before, so he would likely be the one to be released. Being as he is vested, he doesn\’t have to be subjected to the waiver process. In addition, he wants to stay in Pittsburgh so the odds that another team might talk him into signing with them are slim.
Hopefully all of this speculation is for not and Brown is ready to at least dress as a reserve for the Monday night game. Tomlin will update all of the injuries Tuesday during his weekly press conference and hopefully he terms Brown as only needing to be limited for the early portion of the week.
The status of Rainey is only important to the wide receiver. If Brown dresses and Rainey doesn\’t, the Steelers will just dress Rashard Mendenhall or Jonathan Dwyer in his place as both should be ready to return from their injuries.