Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Several players, including Ta'amu, are at risk of release as the Steelers' roster exemption ends this week.
Rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu was suspended for two games due to a litany of charges brought against him Oct. 15. He was brought back to the Steelers roster Monday, meaning they're one man heavy. Someone will be released.
Defensive end Corbin Bryant was signed to take Ta'amu's spot, but he was released not long after that for offensive lineman John Malecki. He dressed for the Steelers' win over Cincinnati, and was released afterward as the team signed Damon Cromartie-Smith in wake of Pittsburgh's Week 8 game against Washington.
Bryant has since been re-signed to the practice squad as well.
The obvious choice would be Cromartie-Smith, but that comes in wake of the concussion safety Ryan Clark suffered against the Redskins. If he's unable to play, it's possible Cromartie-Smith could be kept for depth at safety, along with rookie Robert Golden.
Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke was deactivated in Week 8, presumably due to penalties committed on special teams in recent weeks. The Steelers obviously liked what they saw enough in Cromartie-Smith, they may opt to release Van Dyke.
It even could be Ta'amu himself. Not having been active for a game this season, and coming off suspension for some serious criminal charges, it's pretty likely the Steelers could pass him through waivers and re-sign him to their practice squad.
The NFL trade deadline was extended to Thursday, and while it's highly unlikely the Steelers will make any kind of a deal, a prudent team would do its due diligence to see if there's a player they could bring in on the cheap.
Expect them to stay with their internally-focused strategy, and release a player on the current roster - including Ta'amu.