The Pittsburgh Steelers current 53 man roster might change between now and the regular season opener that takes place a week from Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, but in the meantime, here is a look at a few things that stand out after 22 players were cut Saturday afternoon.
Chris Hubbard – You would be hard pressed to find anyone that had the former undrafted free agent on their final 53 man roster prediction. Hubbard, who once again played left guard during the preseason, could be a player that has a short stay on the 53 if the team can find an upgrade on the waiver wire over the course of the next 24 hours. Hubbard was on the practice squad last season and might be headed back there if he winds up not sticking.
Brice McCain – McCain injured his groin Thursday night in the preseason finale and the fact that he was not placed on injured reserve Saturday is a great sign. He could, however, be a candidate for the short-term injured reserve list, but judging by the way he was injured, he might not be sidelined very long.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – The former first-round draft pick deserved to make the final 53 man roster after his showings in the final two preseason games. He should get a helmet on Sundays thanks to his special teams ability. Look for him to start the season as the No. 4 wide receiver.
Wesley Johnson – While he only played center during the preseason, the Steelers fifth-round draft pick showed enough promise to warrant keeping him. As long as backup center Cody Wallace is healthy, Johnson will likely be inactive several times this season.
Brad Wing – Wing seems to have impressed enough for now. I’m sure he will be on a short leash for the time being, however.
Landry Jones – History prevailed over play when it comes to Jones, who was pretty awful for a second preseason in a row. Hopefully he never has to dress for a game during the 2014 season.
B.W. Webb – You knew Webb was going to stick as soon as he was claimed off of waivers Friday. With McCain currently dinged him up, he might get a helmet on Sundays as a special teams player and backup slot defender.
Justin Brown – Brown didn’t do much during the preseason, but his offseason work and efforts during training camp warranted him sticking. With rookie draft Martavis Bryant currently banged up with a shoulder injury, Brown will hope to be active to start the season as a fifth wide receiver.
Michael Palmer – Palmer easily did enough as a blocker and core special teams player to make David Paulson expendable. He will dress every week as a third tight end.
Will Allen – Head coach Mike Tomlin once again is keeping one of his all-time favorite players. Allen will presumably be the first safety off the bench at the start of the season should something happen to starters Troy Polamalu or Mike Mitchell.