The Pittsburgh Steelers will place tight end Heath Miller and running back Baron Batch on injured reserve this week and there could be a few other injured players moved there in order to open up a few roster spots for some practice squad players to be added for the final game against the Cleveland Browns.
Nose tackle Alameda Ta\'amu, linebacker Marshall McFadden, safety Damon Cromartie-Smith and wide receiver David Gilreath are all legitimate candidates to be promoted this week to the 53 man roster. Not only will this perhaps allow them to get some snaps against the Browns on Sunday, but it might ensure that all four will not be vultured in the off-season by other teams depending on the contract lengths.
In the meaningless game on Sunday it would pretty foolish to play safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor. Cornerbacks Curtis Brown and Keenan Lewis are currently banged up as well so you can see why the addition of Cromartie-Smith would make sense. He can certainly contribute on special teams for starters.
With Batch headed to injured reserve it should open up a slot for McFadden to at least help out on special teams. He could also see snaps at inside linebacker later in the game in addition. McFadden was second on the team during the preseason in tackles with 15 combined.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace likely wants nothing to do with this final game and is currently listed with a hip injury. Gilreath would add some depth at the position if indeed the plan is to make Wallace one of the 7 inactive players.
Surely this would be the perfect week to see what Ta\'amu has learned on the practice field over the course of the season. Is there really a reason to play Casey Hampton at all in this game? Steve McLendon should start and Ta\'amu should spell him.
Sure, Tomlin wants to be competitive and win this game Sunday to finish the season at 8-8, but the game also presents a great opportunity to get a good look at the bottom end of the roster. In other words, treat this game like a fifth preseason game.
Let\'s see how many of these four suggested get promoted this week. It is a perfect opportunity to give all four some work.