Fourth-Round draft pick Ryan McBean was promoted from the practice squad to fill in for the injured Aaron Smith, who was placed on IR yesterday with a torn bicep. McBean has been on the practice squad all year after being released at the final roster cut this summer.
Huge, huge loss for the Steelers. Smith can sometimes fly under the radar because he's never been a 3 sack or 8 tackle game type of guy, but he's been a very integral part of why we've been so successful defensively this decade, especially against the run. Smith was playing Pro-Bowl caliber football earlier this year, and a defense that is already missing Troy P. and Ryan Clark is certainly going to miss him. Bad timing too, because Jacksonville is physical and is one of the few teams that still is able to set up the pass successfully with the run. If our safetys have to scoot up in the box because our linebackers are not as free to roam without Smith in there taking on linemen, it could have a domino effect leading to some big plays for their WRs over the top. Hopefully everyone else in Smith's absence will be up to the challenge.
McBean probably won't play too much if at all, though against a physical Jacksonville team, he might get a few more snaps than he might otherwise. Here's an article I found about him and commented on this offseason.