Steelers TE Heath Miller Still Isn\’t Sure When He\’ll Be Back

The Pittsburgh Steelers situation at the tight end position went from bad to worse last week when Matt Spaeth went down with a Lisfranc injury that could sidelined for around 10 weeks following his surgery. The Steelers hope to get Heath Miller back sooner rather than later, but even he still isn\’t confident about when that might actually be.

“I wish I knew the answer, but I don\’t,” Miller recently told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

According to Robinson, Miller said he has had a few setbacks during his rehab from the serious knee injury he suffered late last season against the Cincinnati Bengals, but that he has had more positives than negatives during the process.

Miller is roughly seven and a half months removed from his surgery currently, and the growing consensus is that he will be removed from the Active PUP list right before the start of the regular season. While he still likely won\’t be ready to play until after the bye week, at least he can begin practicing at any time if he is on the active 53 man roster.

The Steelers took the same approach last season with running back Rashard Mendenhall, and he made his 2012 debut in the Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mendenhall tore up his knee during the final game of the 2011 regular season, so Miller has roughly a week on him there, and will get another week that Mendenhall didn\’t have thanks to the bye being in Week 5 this season.

General Manager Kevin Colbert said a few weeks ago that they wouldn\’t rush Miller, because when his knee injury is behind him, they want it behind him for good. The downside of carrying both Miller and Spaeth on the 53 man roster, however, should that indeed wind up being the case, will mean that at least one, if not two, other positions will be shorted a player to accommodate them both.

The Steelers have a few weeks left before they make their final decision on the status of both Miller and Spaeth, but until then, Miller is just going to control what he control.

“I try to take each day and make it a positive and keep stacking positive days,” he said.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Right now, I think the OLINE is going to be short anyway as they don’t have enough players who deserve to make the roster.

  • Shannon Stephenson


  • Shannon Stephenson

    Hopefully Palmer can step up and make Spaeth expendable. Seems we have some talented people not going to make the roster which would be a shame.

  • Patrick

    There will be about 60 TEs available in the coming weeks. They may not be like Heath but one or two will help

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I don’t necessarily want Spaeth expendable, but if he can make the decision to put him on the IR easy, that would be great. We could survive for a while be putting Beachum out there with Paulson as the 2 TEs. He is smart enough to handle that.

  • treeher

    Sort of wish they had picked up Dallas Clark with bonus of keeping him from the dirty birds.

  • Brendon Glad

    Looking that way, isn’t it? Was hoping they’d get that issue resolved with a new coach and such. But not looking too promising so far.

  • Brendon Glad

    I hope Heath keeps the steady approach he has always had and comes back at the appropriate time. I do not know when that is…and that’s why I’d trust Heath with that one.
    Sure, we desperately need him…but I hope he doesn’t succumb to that pressure. Because we need him HEALTHY. This was not an Adrian Peterson RGIII injury. This was closer to an Olsavsky injury (from my understanding)…and in a position where huge amounts of force are placed on the knee every time we call a running play.
    So if a young-pup needs to be sacrificed to the waiver-wire to allow Heath his proper time to get to the level he needs…then so be it. Heath deserves that respect. Glad to see Colbert publicly acknowledging that sentiment.