Former Steelers Offensive Linemen Trai Essex Signs With Colts

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 9: Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Trai Essex #79 against the Tennessee Titans during the game on October 9, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Titans 38-17. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Former Steelers OL Trai Essex announced via Twitter Monday he signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts, and former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

The move comes in wake of the Steelers losing starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert to an apparent knee injury in Sunday's Week 1 loss at Denver.

Week 1 Analysis: Defensive Breakdown | Injury Report | Offensive Breakdown | Winners/Losers | Game Story | Manning

How long Gilbert will be out is a matter of speculation right now. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Gilbert hyperextended his knee, which could be something that keeps him out for a game or two. If it's worse, which has been the case for many Steelers' offensive linemen recently, The Steelers would be looking at a lack of experienced, available and healthy tackles they could sign.

Former Steelers OT Jonathan Scott was released by Detroit after failing a physical this preseason.

In the end, the Steelers cut Essex, knowing depth at tackle would be strained with one injury - which is what happened. Where he rates with the Steelers in terms of ability isn't known but it must not be very high. They very well could have put a call into Essex on the way back from Denver if they felt they both needed him and he was capable of playing at the level they would require.


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