Categorized | Article, Training Camp

Concerns Growing That Injury Suffered By Steelers TE Matt Spaeth Might Be Serious


The Pittsburgh Steelers added not only one tight end on Thursday to their roster, but two and thus concerns are growing that the injury suffered Wednesday by tight end Matt Spaeth might be serious.

While the addition of Nathan Overbay, a virtual unknown undrafted free agent, earlier in the day really didn\'t warrant running for the bridge, the claiming of Michael Palmer off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks later in the day just might.

Palmer is experienced, and like Spaeth, he is better known for his blocking more than he is a receiver.

During his Thursday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Spaeth was back in Pittsburgh having his injury further evaluated. Being as they couldn\'t evaluate it enough at Saint Vincent College, that\'s probably not a good sign.

The loss of Spaeth would be pretty big for the Steelers offense until Heath Miller ultimately returns to full health. Sure, Spaeth wasn\'t going to make the Pro Bowl this year, but he is considered to be one of the top blocking tight ends in the league that could at least be a red-zone threat in addition. Being as the Steelers offense will likely want to use two tight end packages a little more this year in an effort to run the football with authority, losing him would be pretty significant.

Palmer will certainly be a better blocking tight end than Leonard Pope was last year and probably even five times better. To be able to get him off waivers this late in the offseason was a stroke of luck. However, he still is a notch or two below what Spaeth is as a blocker and his late arrival will mean he has to catch up quickly.

Hopefully Spaeth\'s injury will only keep him sidelined for a few weeks and is not of the season-ending variety. We will likely know soon.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    I was thinking the same thing.. bringing in Overbay was one thing, but claiming another TE (Palmer) makes you wonder…

  • Luke Shabro

    I was going to say at least we can fall back on David Johnson but he’s pretty banged up, correct? I hope Jamie McCoy can make something happen.. Paulson gets more responsibility by the day

  • Paul

    Not sold on spaeth at all

  • Luke Shabro

    On his injury or his ability?

  • Luke Shabro

    Anyone have Jay Riemersma’s number? haha

  • Paul

    Ability

  • Shannon Stephenson

    It’s pretty sad when you have 1 position on both sides of the ball that are decimated by injuries. Makes it hard to win football games when the guys starting have their names taped on their lockers

  • Luke Shabro

    He is what he is. He’s a good blocker and a less than average receiver. He’s not going to make the Pro Bowl and he’s certainly not going to replace Heath but he was valuable veteran. Next man up is getting harder and harder with the lack of experience we have at the position right now

  • BurgherinMD

    How about Eric Green? He had a “nose for the white” lines. ;)

  • Luke Shabro

    Hi oh! Haha

  • BurgherinMD

    You would think at this point the training room is starting to look like Costco on Black Friday.

  • Paul

    I think they will only use the TEs for blocking anyway until Miller returns in October???? With all the talent they have at WR and improved running game why wouldn’t they?

  • steeltown

    How so? He’s primarily a blocking TE.. and he’s a damn good one

  • Ken

    Bennie Cunningham and Randy Grossmann where are you?

  • Luke Shabro

    Keep the defense honest. Paulson’s going to be targeted some. Like DB was pointing out on the Terrible Podcast, the threat has to be there. If you go with personnel groupings featuring the TE and you do nothing but run on those plays the defense is going to catch on quick

  • JPDQ

    Why have training camp at all? Forget practice, OTAs and preseason games. Let’s just have everybody show up for Week 1 at the stadium and play. At least then we’d get to see the Pittsburgh Steelers starting lineup… ya know, for like a quarter or two.

    It boggles my mind how many players (not just Steelers) are getting seriously, seriously injured in PRACTICE. It’s really causing me to re-evaluate my overall interest in this sport. Every year the NFL product becomes more and more diluted due to the fact that guys you want (i.e. PAY) to see aren’t playing because they can’t stay healthy.

    And don’t give me this crap about, “Oh well, at least it gives (insert name here of 3rd or 4th string guy) the opportunity to get some much-needed reps”

    The only reason they are “much-needed reps” is because the two or three guys that are better football players ahead of them are hurt! They’re 3rd or 4th on the depth chart for a reason – and personally, I have about .0001% interest in watching the Steelers field a team of Joe Schmoes and Jimmy Whatshisfaces in WEEK 1. WEEK ONE!

  • steeltown

    McCoy has been around awhile.. he’s kind of a jack of all trades guy, he wont ever be a star but he should be serviceable. I for one am looking forward to him playing with the 1st and 2nd Team

  • steeltown

    Exactly

  • Luke Shabro

    This is the nature of the game. Injuries happen.

  • JPDQ

    Gosh, really? Well that must explain it, then.

  • Luke Shabro

    Wow I was just saying but if you want to be a whiney little girl about it then don’t watch football. These are some of the best athletes in the world beating the snot out of each other playing a violent game. Of course stars are going to get hurt. They aren’t invincible. Quit crying and watch the games or don’t.

  • steeltown

    Even the 3rd and 4th string guys are good athletes.. you don’t come close to the NFL without ability.

    In the end, we haven’t lost any starters, unless you count Burress.. and now ‘possibly’ Spaeth
    We should count our blessings
    Im actually on the other side of the fence. I partially blame the lack of practice time and conditioning (new CBA) on the recent increase in injuries across the League.. not to mention overall long term investment (overpaid players) being held out mostly as precautionary measure 20yrs ago a lot of these guys (who are not seriously injured) would be sucking it up and getting there butts on the field or they’d be playing Arena League

  • steeltown

    Bigger, stronger, faster every year

  • cencalsteeler

    Tomlin cemented your comment a few days ago. McCoy is Will Johnsons back up. Boy, I hope DJ gets back soon.

  • steeltown

    Honestly there’s not much drop off from DJ to McCoy IMO

  • Getitout

    I hear Weslye Saunders is available mid-season

  • Luke Shabro

    He’ll sign for the vet minimum and a few bottles of Adderall

  • dgh57

    I am sold on Spaeth but only as a 2nd TE. Spaeth is part of our effort to get our running game going as he’s a solid blocker. He said a while back he learned a few things in the passing game in his 2 years with the Bears. So I can see him adding something there also, especially in the red zone.

  • steeltown

    So much talent… where did the path become foggy

  • cencalsteeler

    Remember the days when players would leave they’re teeth on the grass and continue to play. Or, they’d break their arm, wrap it up and keep playing. I miss those days, where players played for the love of the game. It seems now injuries are glorified, put under the microscope so to speak. Twisted ankles now mean your out 4 weeks and contusions (fancy word for a bruise) keeps you out for the rest of the game.
    If all players received a base salary, with bonuses based on play, the game would be played much differently.

  • CW

    Not as worried as some seem to be. Good blocking Tight Ends are not a dime a dozen by any means and Spaeth’s absence will be missed if he has to be sidelined for a significant amount of time this year on a PUP list, but facts are many teams want pass catching Tight Ends so good blocking tight ends can be found even late in the preseason. As long as David Paulsen continues to develop as a pass catcher and some one like Michael Palmer can learn the playbook the Steelers should be fine.

    Losing Spaeth, one of the better blocking Tight Ends, matters in terms of probably a few yards lost per game at most in terms of the running game until he gets back.

  • JPDQ

    You’re full of insight, Luke. Maybe you should be a guest on ESPN or NFL Network when they do their segments on the increased frequency of serious training camp injuries. You’d be great. “Injuries happen. Just sayin.”

    You think they’re “beating the snot out of each other” in practice and OTAs? If this many guys are going down in training camp, what do you think will happen in the regular season? Oh wait, exactly what’s been happening for the last couple years with this team. Losing to Timmy Tebow in the opening round of the playoffs and going 8-8 last year.

    But hey, “injuries happen” right, Luke? “The standard is the standard,” right? “Next man up,” no?

    That’s working out great… enjoy watching Demarcus Van Dyke get burned for touchdowns and Ben getting pummeled behind another decimated O-line. Stand up and cheer!

  • Luke Shabro

    Ok then Daniel Jeremiah, why don’t you tell me about a team that doesn’t suffer injuries to star players. Clearly the Steelers are doing something intentional to make sure they injure their players in order to see what we have in the 3rd and 4th string. I guess we should just get better and draft players that aren’t injury prone. You keep acting like it’s something unique to only the Steelers.
    If you’re such an expert maybe you should come up with a solution. It must be the training staff right? Oh wait they’ve had the same head trainer for decades. It must be the coaching staff right? Because Bill Cowher never had star players get injured. Get real man. If you want to be a Sally Sadass be my guest. I don’t understand how you can be a fan at all if you have no interest in watching them.
    I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I also don’t throw a hissy fit about players being injured. And yes, I have no problem with my assessment that injuries happen. Right now I see this as a team that’s sitting pretty well with injuries all things considered. Ben’s not hurt, Troy’s not hurt, and despite losing Embernate who wasn’t even a lock to make the 53 we have five healthy offensive lineman. So I really have no idea how anyone can complain so much about this.

  • JPDQ

    I’d agree with some of what you’re saying, ST. But right now, Cortez is out, Worilds is out, Spaeth is out, Burress is out, Brown is out, Van Dyke is out, Hawthorne is out (four corners total), Heyward is the most recent injured… who else? I know I’m missing a couple guys. And I’m not even counting Heath from last season.

    Point is, people can say, “Oh, it’s just minor, they’ll be back for Week 1 or whatever,” but if you can’t go two days or a week in practice without hurting yourself, why should we have any faith (particularly given this team’s track record over the last few years) that they’ll hold up for even a quarter of the season under full contact?

    That’s my chief ongoing concern with this team.

  • Luke Shabro

    This is true but you can’t go back to the way it was. It’s just not possible. I think the reason injuries are so glorified now is a product of social media/technology and fantasy football.

  • JPDQ

    Because it’s happening more and more frequently. It’s a trend. If you followed this team for any length of time, you’d be acutely aware of that. I’m sorry, but your assessment that “injuries just happen” is wrong. It’s not just bad luck, or karma. There is a more substantive issue causing such an ongoing rash of injuries, and I suspect that yes, it does have a LOT to do with our players’ training regimens. It’s not unique to the Steelers, never said it was, but it’s certainly a huge factor in the team’s struggles recently. And I do believe there is some statistical data (I seem to remember Ed B. pointing it out) that it happens more frequently to this team than most.

    Tell me, do you enjoy watching us pay Lamaar Woodley millions of $$$ to sit on the bench? Or Polamalu? Or the Doug Legursky/Guy Whimpers/Kelvin Beachums of the world protecting our franchise QB? Or our musical chair act at running back? Or Harrison having “minor” knee surgery that somehow keeps him out a quarter of the season? I could go on…

    Me either – that’s why I’m so fed up with injuries. It doesn’t bother you, I get it. It bugs the shit out of me.

  • cencalsteeler

    I feel your pain JPDQ, just realize though it’s not just our team dealing with injuries, it’s just glorified here because your a fan of the Steelers and pay attention to what is going on.

  • cencalsteeler

    Bingo! I’d also like to add players pay to that. A player may be more reserved to play injured because of contracts, (see Mike Wallace last game of 2012) where players of old played injured just to win that particular game.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It will be really unfortunate if Spaeth has to miss some significant time this season. I’ll also be really bummed, because I was one of his few fans.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I bet you never watched any Bears games either.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It sounds like his season might be over with a lisfranc injury…not good. Big injury for the Steelers.

  • JPDQ

    All together now:

    “At least the third and fourth string guys can get some MUCH NEEDED REPS!!!

  • Matthew Marczi

    Right, practice is not important. Everybody into your bubble-wrap suits! Still a month to go for the regular season! Don’t want to injure your brain taking mental reps either.

  • alex

    enter W. Johnson @ FB and a full cast of RBs to block and catch…

    time for Haley to earn his keep this year!

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