Steelers Unlikely To Use Designated For Return Label On Plaxico Burress

Now that it looks like veteran Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress might be lost for an extended amount of time, if not the entire season, because of a torn right rotator cuff that he reportedly suffered Thursday in practice, a few have wondered if the team might put him on injured reserve with the designation to return label. Personally, I don\’t think that will happen.

For starters, there was no guarantee that Burress was going to make the final 53 man roster, and even if he did, he would have been at best a fourth wide receiver who would have been used situationally. On the high side, Burress would have likely contributed 25-30 receptions and a few touchdowns. On the low side, 15 catches and a few touchdowns.

Keep in mind that the new designated for return label can only be applied to one player and only one during a season. The Steelers benefited from the rule last year with guard David DeCastro, who they had a pretty good idea would be able to contribute late in the season. That\’s exactly what happened.

It\’s obvious Burress is not the same player he was a few years ago, and he is replaceable if not by one of the few young receivers already on the roster, then by a low-priced veteran who could also play on special teams.

It is indeed sad to see Burress go out this way as he was genuinely looking forward to one final season in Pittsburgh. He can still, however, have a role with the team as he can help mentor the young receivers on the roster while he rehabs on the regular injured reserve list.

  • dgh57

    There is still 4 preseason games in front of us to be played. Lets save this Designated to Return Label on a younger player(starter) that may go down later.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Agree completely.

  • joed32

    He only caught 3 last year.

  • Luke Shabro

    Exactly what I was thinking

  • James Kling

    Sean Spence should get that designation. Sorry to see this happen to Plax, but maybe Justin Brown or Derek Moye can show something.

  • SteelersDepot

    Spence will be on PUP. No reason to use it on him.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He only played 34 snaps, and 8 of them were running plays. He was a late-season emergency signing due to injury and didn’t know the offense. Contributing 3 catches and a touchdown in that capacity is actually pretty nice production. He also drew a 25 yard pass interference call in the end zone that led to an easy touchdown, and often drew double coverage in tight spaces.

  • joed32

    I just think that he’s about done and wouldn’t have played all that much if they kept him on the 53 which was not a certainty. It doesn’t matter now though.