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Steelers release Damon Cromartie-Smith

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In activating suspended nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu, the Steelers released safety Damon Cromartie-Smith Wednesday.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

There was a reasonable suggestion that maybe the Steelers would release the man they suspended for two games - Alameda Ta'amu - in wake of the criminal charges he's facing.

Instead, upon reinstating him after his suspension, they released safety Damon Cromartie-Smith to free up a roster spot.

Ta'amu is facing multiple felony charges for an incident earlier in the month involving Ta'amu allegedly driving drunk and leading police on a chase in downtown Pittsburgh.

Cromartie-Smith was activated and dressed for the Steelers' 27-12 win over Washington in Week 8. The general thought was Cromartie-Smith replaced DeMarcus Van Dyke, who did not dress for the game - his first since the Steelers acquired him before their Week 2 game against the Jets.

Ta'amu has yet to dress for a game this season, and odds really couldn't be lower he'll dress for this one either. Outside of it being another short stint on the roster for Cromartie-Smith, the move means essentially nothing in terms of the roster.

Some have taken some exception over Ta'amu being put back on the team, and there's some validity to that opinion. Ta'amu could have been re-signed to the practice squad (just as Cromartie-Smith likely will be), as it's not likely any team other than the one that drafted him would sign a guy knowing he's facing some significant legal troubles in a different city.

Perhaps the Steelers just didn't want to take that risk.