Larry Foote’s Injury Could Open The Door For Return Of McFadden, Sylvester

By Matthew Marczi

With the news that Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote may very well be lost for  the rest of the season followed a ruptured bicep suffered in the team’s opening game loss to the Tennessee Titans, there may very well be a roster move in the near future to bring back one of the team’s preseason inside linebackers.

The most likely candidate would be to bring back Marshall McFadden, who was the Steelers’ second-team Buck linebacker and was with the team last season as well. He was a surprise cut, and is currently on the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders.

It is possible that the Steelers ultimately keep just four inside linebackers on the roster, assuming Foote is eventually placed on injured reserve, with McFadden eventually being moved to the practice squad, but a more permanent move to the 53-man roster seems most likely. In order for the Steelers to be able to move McFadden to the practice squad, they would, by rule, need to keep him on the 53-man roster for at least three weeks anyway.

Also currently without a team is Brian Rolle, who filled in for most of the preseason as the second-team linebacker next to McFadden. He does not have practice squad eligibility, and no team has as of yet signed him to an active roster.

Another possibility, depending on his current health, is to welcome Stevenson Sylvester back into the fold, who appeared to be a lock for the roster heading into the preseason. However, he was wiped out on special teams after Markus Wheaton tripped over Shamarko Thomas’ back and into the linebacker.

Sylvester attempted to play one snap on the ankle on defense afterward, but he could not do anything, and quickly left the field. It was initially believed that he would be able to start practicing by the end of the next week, but he never did, and he was released in the first wave of cuts, from the 90-man roster down to 75. Nobody claimed him off waivers, so he is currently without a team.

He has had about a month to recover from the ankle injury at this point. If he is healed and ready to go, perhaps he could be the most likely roster replacement for Foote. Sylvester has spent the past three years on the team, and even though his status for this season was shaky at best, by the time the preseason games began to get under way, it appeared that he was in a good place.

As a restricted free agent, the Steelers elected not to tender the fourth-year player an offer, the only restricted free agent that the team did not re-sign. However, they did eventually sign him during free agency for the veteran minimum salary.

Linebackers coach Keith Butler spoke of this season being a do or die year for Sylvester early in the offseason, but by the time training camp came around, he said that Sylvester could be the first linebacker off the bench. The injury obviously derailed those plans, both for Sylvester and for the team. Larry Foote’s latest derailment now has the Steelers scrambling for yet another answer.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Morningside Bulldog

    Can’t sign to practice squad have to move to your active roster I thought

  • Christopher Wilkes

    OMG, who cares about backup MLBs at this point? Where’s the article about Redman, his 8 carry 9 yard 2 fumble performance, and the Steelers decision to cut Dwyer?

  • LouPGH

    But Tomlin didn’t LIKE Dwyer; never mind the fact that Redman spent the preseason in the tub.

  • stephen Rubalcada

    Start sly!

  • SteelersDepot

    You can sign players off another team’s practice squad as long as they stay on your 53 for three weeks.

  • Marcus

    Worild will move to inside

  • SteelersDepot

    They why read it?

  • Mkeller

    McFadden/Sylvester….more bad news. I need someone to explain what the Steelers future is not just this year but beyond?

  • Nolrog

    The Steelers should have cut both.

  • Mkeller

    Dwyer would not have made a damn bit of difference. The problems in the run game go well beyond the RBs. Though the RBs are possibly the worst group in the league. I don’t want to hear about Le’Veon…nobody knows what to expect from him.

  • Morningside Bulldog

    What I thought , thou I don’t think he like the Steelers much asper his Twitter page but the $ raise may change his tune.

  • Marcus

    I don’t understand, with all the effort dedicated to the run game, how does the leading rusher have 19yds?? It’s a disgrace.

    The D looked fairly solid in my opinion. The 2 safeties played like warriors, and that hit from Jarvis proved to me that he can be elite.

    The offense looks lost, and what the hell was Decastro doing?? He wasn’t even close, and loosing Pouncy for the year is going to make it even harder to get on track.

  • Nolrog

    Wouldn’t it be funny if he turned out to be a solid ILB.

  • Marcus

    There was a lot of debate to move him inside a couple years ago. Some think it’s his more natural position. He has a similar build as Timmons and I think he will do well.

    I like the idea, and will keep Jarvis on field and hopefully he grows up quick!

  • Matthew Marczi

    Ha, yes, money is quite a motivator, especially at the bottom of the roster when it’s the difference between practice squad and game checks.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I think Jarvis’ skill set would be better suited to moving inside, if the Steelers really wanted to make that kind of move. His inside blitz is his best pass rushing move, for starters.

  • hector flores

    brian urlacker

  • hector flores

    1 year veteran min..

  • hector flores

    shouldve got rid of both dywer and redman and picked up anyone of a @%$# 1 year veteran min for michael turner he still needs a job

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I dunno about that. LaRod had 3x as many yards per carry then Redman did. Maybe Dwyer coulda hit those holes like he did in the preseason.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    You’re assuming I did read it.

  • hector flores

    fire todd haley

  • Mkeller

    Whatever combination that puts the best 11 on the field. Had Timmons gone down this would be an even bigger issue. Hopefully a young guy can step in and play to Footes level. Seems like a reasonable expectation. Where do they go if LSH is out for extended time? Back to Batch? Alvester?

  • Matthew Marczi

    My guess would be Alexander on the practice squad, though they could conceivably reach out to Dwyer again. His contract wouldn’t be guaranteed at this point and it would assuredly be vet-min if he’s willing to come back, assuming they need to bring somebody in. They could just feed the ball to Will Johnson some if they think Bell or LASH won’t be out more than a couple more weeks.

  • Menace_501

    Didn’t I see jarvis line up in ILB at the end of the game?

  • Marcus

    I completely agree.. I have been saying that Redman would not have made 1 other NFL team. He just isn’t good enough to be on the field. I think the Steelers can still get better and win the division, but they must make a drastic improvement on offense for that to happen

  • Menace_501

    If a rb has neg yards and all are same then u have to look at line. Even peterson or johnson can beat those odds

  • Marcus

    I think that is a good idea too. Worilds has more experience in this defense, so I think him playing inside is more likely, but I would be excited to see Jones inside as well.

    I hope Bell get’s back soon! Redman is not a capable running back, and I have said all year that he would have no chance of making any other team in the league. And where is the dink and dunk offense? I think they have to stay with that.

  • charles

    Redman was kept for inside the five. Did not seem like we saw much of Jones.
    As for Foote’s replacement the coaches kept Vince and Kion, now use them!
    Offenses get better as the season progresses, and boy does Haley have a long way to go.
    Less than 100 yds after 3 qtrs against last years 29th ranked defense.

  • cencalsteeler

    Michael Turner > Isaac Redman

  • Matthew Marczi

    Not with the way the offensive line blocked yesterday.

  • ELIJAH

    Wilson or Williams!!