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.
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.