The Pittsburgh Steelers will need to trim their roster down to 53 active players by Saturday evening and tight end Matt Spaeth, who is currently still recovering from Lisfranc surgery is guaranteed to be one of those 53 players, at least initially.
So why is that guaranteed? Teams are not allowed to place a player on injured reserve with the designated to return tag until after 4 p.m. eastern on Sept. 3. Last season the Steelers had to do the same thing with guard David DeCastro as he was kept on the initial 53 man roster until the window opened for them to place him on the injured reserve list with the designated to return tag.
Spaeth is nearly three weeks removed from his surgery so the team should have a pretty good idea of how much longer he will be sidelined at this point. If they feel like he will be ready following the Week 5 bye, they just might elect to carry him on the roster until then and save their one designated return tag should they need it later.
Come Sunday evening, the Steelers also must decide whether or not to place tight end Heath Miller on the Reserve PUP list, but being as they decided not to move him there this past week along with linebacker Sean Spence, it could be a sign that he will be activated to the roster when the final transactions are announced Saturday evening.
Miller was asked Tuesday if he knew what his status will be come next week and as usual, he deferred to head coach Mike Tomlin.
“I have no clue,” said Miller. You will have to ask coach that. He may have a better answer than me at this point.”