Another Week And Still No Word As To When TE Matt Spaeth Will Return

Another week and still no concrete word as to when Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth will be able to return from the Lisfranc injury that he suffered during training camp.

“I hadn’t got an update on him,” said head coach Mike Tomlin of Spaeth during his Tuesday press conference. “He’s in the building. I need to do that. I don’t have it for you, I’m sorry.”

Spaeth, who is eligible to return to practice whenever deemed healthy, has been on the injured reserve list with the designated to return tag since the start of the season. On Friday, Spaeth will have been sidelined a total of 14 weeks.

When and if Spaeth does return to practice, the Steelers will have three weeks from that point to decide whether or not to place him on the 53 man roster or leave him on injured reserve.

For the time being, Michael Palmer will back up starter Heath Miller at the tight end position. Palmer jumped David Paulson on the depth chart released Tuesday by the team.

The Steelers will host the Detroit Lions this Sunday at Heinz Field.

  • TheBlitz

    I doubt he’s coming back this year. The only way I see him wearing a uniform on Sunday is if a TE goes down. That’s probably when he’ll get reactivated. If they had plans for him this year he would have been reactivated weeks ago.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    No…it doesn’t matter what their “plans” are for him if he isn’t ready to come back.


    The fact that MT hasn’t been taking the initiative to inquire within about Spaeth’s status means MT knows Spaeth’s return is a back-burner issue.

  • steeltown

    I disagree.. with Heath obviously still ailing and Paulson not showing improvement, I think our TE situation is one of the bigger issues

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I agree…although I believe he can help us some it is obvious by Tomlin’s not having a clue on him tells us what we need to know and that is he isnt needed in this process.

  • SumnerYoung

    I agree with you that TE is a big issue. Tyler Eifert sure would look good in a Steelers uniform. But Colbert and company have “wants, not needs.” The Steelers need more offensive weaponry, particularly red zone weapons.

  • Jeff

    Which seemed like a bigger issue at the time, OLB or TE?

    At TE we knew heath miller would be back albeit maybe not 100% right away.

    At OLB we had the departure of James Harrison and only one known starter (woodley) coming into the season, and he just came off an injury plagued season.

    IMO both were needs, but OLB was a much bigger need.

  • TheBlitz

    I could be wrong but I thought weeks ago he said he’s ready…but it’s up to the staff. Of course the doctors have to clear him up for practice.

    Maybe he isn’t as ready as he thinks


    You misunderstood my point. As you mention, we are in desperate need of TE help. If Spaeth were even close to being able to play, Tomlin would be asking for daily updates. Since he is not, Spaeth is not near ready to go and thus his return is a back-burner issue for Tomlin.

  • greeny

    Heath has a pretty big cap hit for being on one leg and missing 3 games. I agree with the Eifert draft comment.

  • Jeff

    Well, hindsight is always 20-20, and it can be selective. Eifert has played well for the bengals and I’m sure any team that passed on him that had an opportunity to snag him surely would’ve reconsidered knowing what we all know now. What we don’t know is how well Jarvis Jones will pan out, and if he does, I still think that pick was the better one for the Steelers…. JMO

  • steeltown

    I don’t believe we should’ve drafted Eifert, if we did I wouldn’t have been upset, but I agree OLB depth is a need (and still is)

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Im not sure we’ll see him this year.

  • JJ was the right pick then and now. They can get by and have a productive offense and would Eifert really make that much of a difference? Eifert has 5 more receptions for 46 more yards.

  • SumnerYoung

    I wanted the Steelers to draft Eifert, but when they took JJ, I was happy as well. He was the SEC Def. Player of the Year, and led the conference in sacks. Those things carries a lot of weight, and JJ has the chance to develop into a good or even great player. My question, at least offensively, now becomes this: Will the Steelers sign Ben to an extension this offseason? If they do, then obviously they feel he is their ace QB for the next 4-6 years. With the rules now slanted toward the passing game, I believe we will have to draft, trade for, or sign free agents at the offensive skill positions that can make a big impact over the remaining years of Big Ben’s reign. That needs to start in the 2014 offseason. AB and Heath are the only proven commodities returning as of now, and Heath hasn’t looked like the greatest TE in Steelers history this year, which is understandable, but nonetheless, a big concern.

  • JohnnyV1

    I said back when it happened that I was against putting Spaeth on IR Designated To Return, I am of the same opinion now.