Several of you are curious as to why the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to waive guard Nik Embernate on Thursday and if he was waived injured. We now have more clarification on that move.
According to the official NFL transaction release from Thursday, Embernate, who was originally signed last year as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State, was waived with the designation of a failed physical.
So what does this mean?
It could mean that Embernate will revert back to the Steelers offseason PUP injured list if he clears waivers. At that point, he can continue the rehab of his knee while not taking up a spot on the Steelers 90 man roster. Mind you, we are assuming that it was his previous knee injury that prompted the failed physical.
Being as the Active PUP list technically doesn’t open until the team arrives at training camp, waiving Embernate under the failed physical designation was the only way to open up a roster spot while trying to retain his rights at the same time. If you remember back to a few years ago, the New York Giants attempted to waive tight end Jake Ballard with the failed physical designation with the hopes that he would clear waivers and revert back to their injured list. The New England Patriots, however, claimed Ballard off waivers.
After Embernate initially tore up his knee last August, he was waived injured and then reverted back to the Steelers injured list where he spent the entire season.