Steelers depth chart: Spaeth injury could force Tuitupou and Rabe into spotlight

Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sport

NFL preseason rosters are full of young men looking for opportunities to prove themselves worthy of roster consideration. Two such players will get all the opportunity they can handle if Spaeth misses time.

While those who follow the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to wait for more details on the injury to tight end Matt Spaeth, the spotlight has begun to focus on the rest of the team's positional depth chart.

The Steelers are already anxiously awaiting the recovery of Heath Miller and his repaired ACL. David Johnson was signed to help fill the void, but has left one of his own as he has spent most of training camp on the PUP list. Now, the team's third option Spaeth may be out at least the first preseason game against the New York Giants on Saturday night.

Without knowing the severity of Spaeth's injury, all fans can do is look for a bright side, unfortunately most of the bulbs they have left are on the verge of burning out.

David Paulson has looked improved in his second camp as a professional tight end, and his progress will be closely followed if he is the team's No. 1 TE on Saturday night. Jaime McCoy is also looking improved in his second season after spending most of 2012 on the Steelers practice squad. McCoy will receive plenty of exposure as the team's second TE on the depth chart.

Perhaps Paulson and McCoy will not have their snap counts restricted like other starters, but they will eventually give way to young Peter Tuitupou and recently acquired John Rabe - neither of which have been very inspiring in camp practices against live opponents or tackling sleds.

Rabe and Tuitupou could face their last chances in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Should either man's play be as unimpressive as their practice, they could find themselves unemployed afterward. Without knowing exactly when Miller will return, the team will want to be confident in the healthy players remaining.

If those who remain do not inspire confidence, the organization will continue to look for fresh faces who will.

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