Free agent center Fernando Velasco is back healthy again.
When Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was lost eight plays into the 2013 season opener to a knee injury, Velasco was luckily still unemployed at the time and the team signed him right away. Velasco helped stabilize the Steelers line until he, too, suffered a season-ending injury Thanksgiving night against the Baltimore Ravens.
At his football camp over the weekend, Velasco told WRDW-TV that’s he back running full speed and doing offensive line drills after tearing his Achilles’ last season.
“The leg is feeling real good,” Velasco said.
Despite Velasco being healthy again, it appears the Steelers have moved on from him. Cody Wallace, who replaced Velasco when he went down injured, was signed to a three-year contract during the offseason to presumably serve as Pouncey’s backup. In addition, the Steelers spent a fifth-round draft pick on Wesley Johnson, who can play center, guard and tackle.
Since coming into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2008, Velasco has made starts at both center and left guard. He’s a better center, however, and while he said he expects a chance to start with whichever team ultimately signs him, that’s unlikely to be the case this late in the offseason with him coming off of an injury.
Unless the Steelers suffer another interior offensive line injury between now and the start of the regular season, it appears as though Velasco’s services aren’t needed in Pittsburgh. Hopefully another team will give him a shot.