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.