Was Thursday Night The Final Game For Brett Keisel In A Steelers Uniform?

Brett Keisel‘s return to the football field Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens following a two game absence due to a left foot problem lasted all of seven plays as the 35-year-old bearded one limped to the sidelines for good with 2:49 left in the first quarter. Now, we are all left to wonder if the Steelers veteran defensive end has played his final game in a Pittsburgh uniform.

Following the Week 10 win over the Buffalo Bills, Keisel missed the next two games and it was reported that he was suffering from plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He did, however, practice fully last week leading up to the game, but it was clear when he exited Thursday night that he could be down a few more weeks.

For what it is worth, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Saturday night on Twitter that he is hearing that Keisel will miss some time because of his foot, but he didn’t specify or speculate just how much time.

The Steelers now have four games remaining in the regular season and they pretty much have to win all four and get some help if they are to make the playoffs. As it looks right now, the season finale at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns might be Keisel’s last opportunity to suit up for the Steelers unless they somehow make the playoffs.

Keisel is in the final year of his contract and there are no guarantees that he will be brought back next season even though the Steelers figure to have several holes that will need to be filled on their defensive line. If Keisel is brought back for one more season, it will be on a one-year qualified contract for the veteran minimum with no guarantees that he will start or even make the final 53 man roster out of training camp.

Keisel, who was originally drafted by the Steelers in the 7th round (242nd overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft out of BYU, has only played in all 16 games in a season four times over the course of his 11 years in the league. 2012 was one of those years, but he left the season finale against the Browns with a knee injury after playing just 28 snaps.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin won’t update the status of the injured players until his Tuesday press conference, so we will have to wait until then to get an official update on Keisel. Hopefully we can make it back for the Browns game if not sooner.

  • Rick M

    Brett’s been such a valiant and good player for us over the years. It’s unfortunate that the body starts to break down after more than a decade of battling defensive linemen, but that’s reality.

    I’d still like to see him back at the veteran minimum next year, provided he wants to play. It’s tough to believe any team will pay him more at age 36 given the calf and foot problems he’s had in recent years. Maybe I’m wrong in hoping for one final year; given the age of the defence maybe it’s best to move on. It’s a tough call.

  • rizzo29

    It,s been a nice ride, ole bearded one

  • Nolrog

    I hope they bring him back for 1 more year. Hood likely will be gone, so that will leave two big holes on the DL (unless Al Woods can solidify the nose.)

  • Elijah Stevenson

    I hope Kiesal comes back one more year as well,I really hate Ian for making up all these rumors just to make money.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    I think we should bring him back, soon some rookies will be taking over in the next 3-5 years and we all need that veteran leadership.

  • awlcohen

    Put him on IR now. No point in wasting a roster spot with the hope he can come back at 60% for 1 or maybe 2 games.

  • NW86

    Well they put Velasko on IR and not Keisel yet, so I’m going to be optimistic and say that they still think he can get back on the field in 2-3 weeks. You would hate to put him on IR, then go to Cleveland with a chance to make the playoffs and Brett being healthy but stuck in street clothes because you IR’d him.
    I am, however, getting the feeling that this is his last season. Even though he has still played well when healthy, it’s just not worth tying up a roster spot for 2014 at this point. I hope he gets to play at least 1 more game so he doesn’t have to go out the same way Aaron Smith did.

  • Bill Molinaro

    Loved Keisel, a 100% competitor who along with Troy, Ike and Lamar are the last vestiges of a great defense. Farewell to the beard!!
    I guess Lamar will be back because it costs too much to let him go; can’t hazard a guess on Troy or Ike but it seems pay cuts are in order to remain. Too bad that all good things have to end.

  • gene mann

    I hope he comes back for one more season he could help mentor any line Dl they bring in.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Brian Arnfelt should be the next guy up.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Time to cut the aging guys and their high salaries as they are not going to get this team to the playoffs again.

  • sean mcmartin

    He was a real good DE for the Steelers. Doubt with his list of injuries he will risk tearing down his body one more year for vet minimum,
    Hope the FO makes some good moves this off season. This team needs a vocal leader and performer..

  • Reader783

    Any chance LaMarr Woodley ends up as some sort of lineman? Simple spitballing. We already owe him big money, and Worlids and Jones both seem to be more useful.

  • Chad H

    Jones useful at what? I’ve seen nothing out of our 1st rd pick. Worlds yes but now that it’s a contract year.

  • Mike.H

    Casey Hampton the 360 lb huge granite, Aaron Smith the unsung hero-beast. Add Kiesal the athletic DE…

    thanks for the great memories to the above 3 special Steelers!

  • Reader783

    I’ve seen promising things out of Jarvis, without a doubt. I’m not saying he came in here and was a beast, but I can’t think of many pass rushers who just come into the league and are beasts their rookie year. Let him develop a little bit. I’m just spitballing with Woodley, I’m no expert

  • CrazyTerry

    Problem is Jones looks godawful when it comes to pass rush. Not saying he is a bust yet. But shouldnt someone who supposedly fell out of the top 5 in the draft only because of spinal injury concerns be a beast when he does play healthy if he was supposedly a top 5 talent?
    Other than the ability to bat down passes, he is killing us from that side.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    I hope so, but an udfa that hasn’t been offered a contract by 32 teams? That said, I hope the steelers put him on the 53 soon.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Not sure if I’m hopeful for Worilds’ future or ifa guy turning it on the last half season in a contract year makes me sick???

  • steeltown

    A Steeler Great in my book

  • steeltown

    If he’s brought back on a ‘vet minumum’ that is not guaranteed he wont be any detriment to the salary cap